The Real News Podcast

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Daily Reports, specials, and podcasts by The Real News Network

Episode Date
‘Twerking-class heroes’: LA strippers are fighting for a union
3309
On March 18, dancers working at the Star Garden Topless Dive Bar in North Hollywood, California, presented a petition to the owners of the club “demanding an end to retaliatory firings and bad club policies that put their safety at risk.” The next day, dancers were locked out of their jobs and told they could only meet with management individually, not as a group. In response, the workers have turned the lockout into a picket and a unionization drive that could have major implications for workers in strip clubs around the country. TRNN Editor-in-Chief Maximillian Alvarez speaks with Reagan, one of the dancers at Star Garden who was unjustly fired and who is fighting alongside her coworkers to unionize with Strippers United.

Read the transcript of this interview: https://therealnews.com/twerking-class-heroes-la-strippers-are-fighting-for-a-union

Pre-Production/Studio: Maximillian Alvarez
Post-Production: Cameron Granadino

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May 17, 2022
Rattling the Bars: Prison food is much worse than you think
1452
“Prison food in the United States is a public health and human rights crisis,” the Maryland Food & Prison Abolition Project states on their website. “By weaponizing the experience of eating, the state transforms one of our most basic needs into an everyday form of violence. The short- and long-term effects of poor food conditions on incarcerated individuals' health also constitutes a form of ‘premature death’—oftentimes damaging a person’s physical and mental health and well-being for the rest of their life.” In this episode of Rattling the Bars, Mansa Musa, who spent nearly 50 years eating prison food himself, speaks with Kanav Kathuria, co-founder of The Maryland Food & Prison Abolition Project, about the institutionalized cruelty of the system that keeps incarcerated people malnourished and fed barely enough to stay alive.

Read the transcript of this interview: https://therealnews.com/i-wouldnt-even-feed-this-to-my-dog-the-inhumane-reality-of-prison-food

Pre-Production/Studio/Post-Production: Cameron Granadino

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May 16, 2022
Marc Steiner Show: ‘The residential school era did not end’ for Indigenous people
1646
Indigenous people have long stressed the unspeakable horrors of residential (boarding) schools in North America. Last year, those horrors were made inescapably real for many when mass graves were unearthed at multiple school locations in Canada. Since then, the fight to confront the colonial and genocidal function of these schools has ramped up, and that fight reached a new height when a delegation of First Nations, Inuit, and Métis leaders met with Pope Francis at the Vatican—a meeting that was followed by a formal apology for the Catholic Church’s role in driving the residential school system. In this installment of The Marc Steiner Show, Marc welcomes back journalist Brandi Morin, who was at the Vatican for last month’s historic meeting, to discuss the ways that the colonial violence embodied in residential schools lives on today.

Brandi Morin is an award-winning French/Cree/Iroquois journalist from Treaty 6 territory in Alberta, Canada. Her work has appeared in numerous outlets, including Al Jazeera English, The Guardian, The National Observer, The New York Times, Vice Canada, and CBC Indigenous. Read Morin’s latest reporting here: https://muckrack.com/brandi-morin/articles.

Tune in for new episodes of The Marc Steiner Show every Monday on TRNN, and subscribe to the TRNN YouTube channel for video versions of The Marc Steiner Show podcast.

Pre-Production/Studio: Adam Coley
Post-Production: Stephen Frank


Read the transcript of this podcast: https://therealnews.com/the-residential-school-era-did-not-end-for-indigenous-people

Pre-Production/Studio: Adam Coley
Post-Production: Stephen Frank


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May 16, 2022
How 50 years of class war changed the state of Wisconsin
5942
This is the final podcast installment of our special series of conversations with teachers, organizers, scholars, and activists in Wisconsin that TRNN Editor-in-Chief Maximillian Alvarez, Cameron Granadino (TRNN), and Hannah Faris (In These Times) recorded in the summer of 2021 as part of a special collaboration between The Real News Network and In These Times magazine for “The Wisconsin Idea.” To round out the series, we drive straight into the heart of darkness with an in-depth discussion with veteran educators and organizers Frank Emspak and Adrienne Pagac about the passage of Act 10 in Wisconsin under Republican Governor Scott Walker, the statewide protests against it, and the devastation that it has left in Wisconsin for the past 11 years. Frank Emspak is Professor Emeritus at the University of Wisconsin-Madison School for Workers and a labor activist based in Madison, Wisconsin. He is a regular contributor to WORT Labor Radio, Progressive Magazine, and a range of other media outlets. Adrienne Pagac is a scholar, organizer, and former co-president of the Teaching Assistants Association.

The statewide protests against Act 10, known as the Wisconsin Uprising, comprised one of the largest sustained collective actions in the history of the United States, and anyone who was there in 2011 will attest to the collective spirit of resistance and solidarity that the uprising embodied, and the lasting impact it left on all who participated. But the protests were ultimately unsuccessful in beating back Act 10, and the short- and long-term effects of its passage have been a disaster for working people and organized labor. How did this coordinated assault on labor come to pass in Wisconsin? And what lessons can the rest of us around the country learn from the 50-year war on workers that has changed the state of Wisconsin for generations?

Pre-Production: Maximillian Alvarez, Hannah Faris, Alice Herman, Cameron Granadino, Eleni Schirmer (research consultant), John Fleissner (research consultant), John Yaggi (research consultant), Harvey J. Kaye (research consultant), Jon Shelton (research consultant), Adam Mertz (research consultant)
Studio: Cameron Granadino
Post-Production: Cameron Granadino, Stephen Frank, Kayla Rivara, Jules Taylor, Maximillian Alvarez

The Wisconsin Idea is an independent reporting project of People’s Action Institute, Citizen Action of Wisconsin and In These Times.

Read the full description (including additional links/info) and the transcript of this podcast: https://therealnews.com/how-50-years-of-class-war-changed-the-state-of-wisconsin

Featured Music (all songs sourced from the Free Music Archive at freemusicarchive.org):
Jules Taylor, "Working People Theme Song"

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May 11, 2022
Art for the End Times: These are a few of my favorite things
6963
From relentless war, militarism, and apartheid around the globe to climate catastrophe and reactionary attacks on civil rights and basic freedoms, the world is a scary place right now, and it is perfectly reasonable to feel despondent about it. It’s at times like this that we need art the most—not as some utilitarian salve for the pain we’re feeling, but because art connects us to the most joyful, beautiful, and human aspects of being alive. In this special all-recommendations episode of Art for the End Times, Lyta and a raucous panel of guests share their top recommendations for art that will make you happy and remind you why life is worth living.

Panelists include: Allegra Silcox, Adrian Rennix, Kate Gauthreaux, Stephen Frank, and Maximillian Alvarez.

Read the transcript of this podcast: https://therealnews.com/everything-is-terrible-so-here-are-some-art-recommendations-that-will-make-you-happy

Pre-Production/Studio: Maximillian Alvarez, Stephen Frank
Post-Production: Brent Tomchik

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May 11, 2022
‘They f*cked us’: Illinois Ironworkers laid off after unionizing
2800
On Sept. 7, 2021, after a majority of employees had formally expressed interest in unionizing, workers at G&D Integrated LLC—a transportation, logistics, warehousing, and supply chain services company in Central Illinois—marched on their boss together to demand recognition of the union. Their demands were not met. Then workers filed for a union election with the National Labor Relations Board and voted overwhelmingly in favor of unionizing with the Ironworkers Union in October. Almost immediately, workers at G&D Integrated reported retaliation from the company, including surveillance, interrogation, discrimination, and direct threats of termination for organizing activity. Then, on March 1, 2022, G&D laid off the vast majority of workers at the Morton, Illinois, facility in a suspected act of retaliation. In this interview, TRNN Editor-in-Chief Maximillian Alvarez speaks with John Hogsett, Vince Di Donato, and Ben Scroggins about the situation at G&D Integrated, what can be done about it, and why the Ironworkers believe this case clearly demonstrates the need for the National Labor Relations Board to revive what’s known as the “Joy Silk doctrine.”

John Hogsett is an ironworker and one of the former G&D employees who was laid off in a suspected act of retaliation by the company after workers voted to unionize. Vince Di Donato is a District Representative for the Ironworkers International Organizing Department. Ben Scroggins is the Ironworkers District Council Organizer for Chicago and the surrounding vicinity.

Read the transcript of this interview: https://therealnews.com/they-fcked-us-illinois-ironworkers-laid-off-after-unionizing

Pre-Production/Studio/Post-Production: Cameron Granadino

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May 10, 2022
Police Accountability Report: How a small-town police department in WV is fleecing its citizens
3964
In this special investigative livestream, Police Accountability Report hosts Stephen Janis and Taya Graham discuss some of their findings from their ongoing investigation into the town of Milton, West Virginia.

Milton first came to our attention with the arrest of Cody Cecil, a Michigan man whose trailer was raided by Milton police while parked in a private campground. But a series of successive investigative reports have produced mounting evidence of overzealous ticket writing and exorbitant court fees that raised even more questions about the town. In this special livestream episode, Graham and Janis report on some of their latest findings about the city, its police department, and a questionable deal to build a luxury hotel with the help of taxpayers.

Read the transcript of this podcast: https://therealnews.com/police-accountability-report-how-a-small-town-police-department-in-wv-is-fleecing-its-citizens

Pre-Production/Studio: Cameron Granadino, Adam Coley

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May 10, 2022
Marc Steiner Show: Rage is the most natural emotion to be feeling right now
2637
“There are times when I want to scream out: “F*** this entire indifferent, hypocritical and violent world!’” So writes philosopher George Yancy in a recent piece for Truthout entitled “If the State of the World Makes You Want to Scream, You’re Not Alone.” From endless militarism and war profiteering to climate chaos and the reactionary right’s attacks on democracy and civil rights, the most natural response to the compounding crises we face today is to be filled with rage. In this installment of The Marc Steiner Show, Marc speaks with Yancy about the necessity of feeling the fullness of that rage—not suppressing it with theoretical abstraction or false calls for civility—and then channeling that rage into collective action.

George Yancy is the Samuel Candler Dobbs professor of philosophy at Emory University and a Montgomery fellow at Dartmouth College. He is also the University of Pennsylvania’s inaugural fellow in the Provost’s Distinguished Faculty Fellowship Program (2019-2020 academic year). He is the author, editor, and co-editor of over 20 books, including Black Bodies, White Gazes; Look, a White!: Philosophical Essays on Whiteness; Backlash: What Happens When We Talk Honestly about Racism in America; and Across Black Spaces: Essays and Interviews from an American Philosopher.

Tune in for new episodes of The Marc Steiner Show every Monday and Thursday on TRNN.

Read the transcript of this podcast: https://therealnews.com/rage-is-the-most-natural-emotion-to-be-feeling-right-now

Pre-Production/Studio: Adam Coley
Post-Production: Stephen Frank


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May 09, 2022
Railroad workers are being ground to dust. Who will help them?
3375
TRNN viewers may remember a recent interview we published at the beginning of February in which Editor-in-Chief Maximillian Alvarez spoke with retired railway engineer Jeff Kurtz about a US District Court blocking railroad workers at BNSF Railway from striking over the recent implementation of a draconian new attendance policy. Even if the story has faded from the headlines, the struggles railroad workers are facing have not gone away in the slightest, and workers and their families have reported that BNSF’s “Hi-Viz” policy has been a disaster for them and for the railroad industry. In this crucial follow-up report, Alvarez speaks with Jeff Kurtz and Ron Kaminkow of Railroad Workers United about what workers have been going through since the implementation of this new attendance policy and what can be done about it.

Jeff Kurtz was a railway engineer and union member for 40 years. He served as a union officer most of his career, including eight years as president of BLET Local 391 and chairman of the BLET Iowa State Legislative Board, where he oversaw safety and legislative matters for the union in the state for four railroads for 10 years. He retired in 2014 and served as state representative for one term in the Iowa House after winning the 2018 election in his House district. He now works in a volunteer capacity with Railroad Workers United and the local labor chapter of the Iowa Federation of Labor. Ron Kaminkow is currently serving as General Secretary of Railroad Workers United. Prior to hiring out as a brakeman with Conrail in 1996, he served as President of AFSCME Local 634 in Madison, Wisconsin. In 2005, Kaminkow helped to found Railroad Operating Crafts United (ROCU), an RWU predecessor. A former brakeman, conductor, and engineer for Conrail and later NS in Chicago, he formerly worked for Amtrak in Milwaukee and Chicago. He currently is working as an Amtrak engineer in Reno, Nevada, where he is the Vice President of BLET Local 51.

Read the transcript of this interview: https://therealnews.com/railroad-workers-are-being-ground-to-dust-who-will-help-them

Pre-Production/Studio: Maximillian Alvarez
Post-Production: Adam Coley

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May 05, 2022
The historic, youthful, rank-and-file movement to unionize Starbucks
2287
The rank-and-file effort to unionize Starbucks stores around the United States is one of the most head-spinningly historic worker-led movements in our generation. Since the Elmwood Avenue store in Buffalo, New York, made history by becoming the first location to unionize in December of 2021, around 250 Starbucks locations have filed for union elections, and the overwhelming majority of stores that have already held elections voted in favor of unionizing. Even in the face of intense opposition from corporate executives and upper-level managers at one of the most powerful companies in the world, and working within the incredibly restrictive confines of US labor law, partners organizing with Starbucks Workers United keep racking up wins. TRNN Editor-in-Chief Maximillian Alvarez sits down with Arianna Ayala, a Starbucks partner and member of the organizing committee at her store in New York City, which recently filed for a union election, to talk about her own experience working at Starbucks during the COVID-19 pandemic, why she and her fellow partners took that fateful step to organize, and why they, like Starbucks partners around the country, believe that a unionized workforce will make Starbucks a better company.

Read the transcript of this interview: https://therealnews.com/the-historic-youthful-rank-and-file-movement-to-unionize-starbucks

Pre-Production/Studio: Thomas Hedges
Post-Production: Cameron Granadino

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May 02, 2022
Workers at Maryland’s first unionized Starbucks describe their fight for workplace democracy
1057
On Monday, April 25, the N. Charles cafe in Baltimore’s Mt. Vernon neighborhood became the first Starbucks location in Maryland to unionize. The final election results, certified by the National Labor Relations Board, were a clean sweep: 14 “Yes” votes and zero “No” votes out of 22 eligible voters, with zero voided ballots. In this special podcast edition of Battleground Baltimore, recorded minutes after the official vote count, TRNN Editor-in-Chief Maximillian Alvarez speaks with four Starbucks partners from the N. Charles location—Violet Sovine, Nico Finol, Jennifer Clawson, and Kieren Levy—about their collective fight for an inclusive, safe, and democratic workplace, and about the larger movement to organize Starbucks partners across the country.

Read the transcript of this podcast:

Pre-Production/Studio: Maximillian Alvarez
Post-Production: Jules Taylor

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Apr 29, 2022
The Amazon Labor Union is just getting started
353
After the independent and worker-led Amazon Labor Union made history by unionizing the JFK8 fulfillment center on Staten Island—the first Amazon facility in the US to successfully vote to unionize—workers at a second facility in the same Staten Island complex, the LDJ5 sorting center, are voting in their own union election this week. On Sunday, April 24, the ALU held a rally in support of LDJ5 workers, featuring speeches from Amazon worker-organizers, labor leaders from other unions, and high-profile supporters like Bernie Sanders, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, and Kshama Sawant. In this on-the-ground report, TRNN Editor-in-Chief Maximillian Alvarez and professional videographer Thomas Hedges speak with rally attendees about the significance of the LDJ5 union election and the broader grassroots movement to unionize the second-largest private employer in the US.

Read the transcript of this podcast: https://therealnews.com/the-amazon-labor-union-is-just-getting-started

Pre-Production/Studio: Thomas Hedges
Post-Production: Thomas Hedges, Cameron Granadino

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Apr 27, 2022
Art for the End Times: Station Eleven: ‘One of the most optimistic renditions of the apocalypse’
6339
If you didn’t enjoy Emily St. John Mandel’s post-apocalyptic book Station Eleven, you’re not alone—Lyta didn’t like it either. However, the HBO Max mini-series, starring Mackenzie Rio Davis and Himesh Patel, brings a powerful, unique, and deeply human quality to St. John Mandel’s story of a devastating global flu pandemic and societal collapse. In the latest installment of Art for the End Times, Lyta talks with writer and podcaster Aaaron Thorpe about why Station Eleven, an underrated and brilliant TV show in its own right, is one of the few contemporary examples of anticapitalist utopian storytelling.

Aaron Thorpe is a writer and podcaster based in Atlanta, Georgia. You can find his writing at Space and Light and his podcasting on The Trillbilly Workers Party, Everybody Loves Communism, and Struggle Session.

Read the transcript of this podcast:

Pre-Production/Studio: Cameron Granadino
Post-Production: Jules Taylor

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Apr 26, 2022
‘Jeff Bezos, your time is coming!’: Amazon workers on Staten Island bring the noise ahead of second union vote
5996
On Sunday, April 24, the independent Amazon Labor Union held a rally outside the JFK8 fulfillment center on Staten Island, New York, where, just one month ago, workers shocked the world by becoming the first Amazon workforce in the US to successfully vote to unionize. With supporters from organized labor and the surrounding community showing up in full force, along with high-profile appearances from Sen. Bernie Sanders and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, worker-organizers with the ALU showed their support for their coworkers at the LDJ5 sorting center, another facility in the same complex that is voting in their own union election this week. If LDJ5 becomes the second Amazon facility to unionize, it will prove that what happened at JFK8 was not a fluke, but the beginning of a historic movement to unionize the second largest private employer in the US and one of the most powerful corporations in the world.

In this special episode of Working People, we put together a compilation of speeches from the rally along with interviews TRNN Editor-in-Chief Maximillian Alvarez conducted on the ground with Amazon workers and other special guests. Speakers/interviewees include: Christian Smalls, president of the Amazon Labor Union; Derrick Palmer, vice president of organizing for the Amazon Labor Union; Jordan Flowers, cofounder of the Congress of Essential Workers and the Amazon Labor Union; Senator Bernie Sanders; Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez; Karen Ponce, interim secretary of the Amazon Labor Union; Julian Mitchell-Israel, LDJ5 Amazon worker, field organizer for the Amazon Labor Union; Maddie Wesley, LDJ5 Amazon worker, treasurer of the Amazon Labor Union; Kshama Sawant, (socialist) Seattle City Council Member; Sara Nelson, international president of the Association of Flight Attendants-CWA, AFL-CIO; Charles Jenkins, elected officer of the Transport Worker Union Local 100 and president of the Coalition of Black Trade Unionists (CBTU) NY Chapter; Brittany Ramos DeBarros, candidate for Congress in New York's 11th District; Luis Feliz Leon, staff writer and organizer for Labor Notes; Michelle Valentin Nieves, worker-organizer with the Amazon Labor Union.

Pre-Production: Maximillian Alvarez
Post-Production: Jules Taylor

Read the transcript of this podcast and see full show notes here: https://therealnews.com/jeff-bezos-your-time-is-coming-amazon-workers-on-staten-island-bring-the-noise-ahead-of-second-union-vote

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Apr 26, 2022
How Big Tech used COVID to pull off one of the biggest grifts in history
2751
After two-plus years of pandemic hell, it is beyond understandable that so many desperately want to forget the horror and havoc of COVID-19 and move on with their lives, but it’s imperative that we learn from catastrophic pandemic policy mistakes and hold accountable the powerful forces that took advantage of this crisis for their own gain. Aided by governments and public-private partnerships, Big Tech has been one of the biggest offenders in this regard. As Kevin Klyman notes in his recent extensive essay for Jacobin, republished here by TRNN, governments partnering with tech companies to battle the COVID-19 pandemic didn’t save lives, but it did put lots of money in the hands of Big Tech and provided a “once-in-a-generation” opportunity for powerful companies to take and control our sensitive data. In this interview for the TRNN podcast, Editor-in-Chief Maximillian Alvarez speaks with Klyman about his essay and about the jaw-dropping grift that Big Tech has been running while the rest of us have struggled to survive over the past two years.

Kevin Klyman is a policy researcher and a data scientist who advocates for responsible uses of technology to reduce poverty and advance peace. He is currently a researcher at Harvard's Kennedy School, where he publishes research on how technology can help prevent war between the United States and China. Before that, Klyman worked at the United Nations Foundation and the UN Secretary General's artificial intelligence lab, where he wrote data protection policies that were adopted by the World Health Organization. His freelance writing has been published by a range of outlets, including South China Morning Post, TechCrunch, and Jacobin.

Pre-Production/Studio: Maximillian Alvarez
Post-Production: Jules Taylor

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Apr 25, 2022
Cops arrested him for filming an accident scene, but did the police break the law?
1641
The continued arrests of a group of Texas cop watchers is raising serious questions about how the law is applied to citizen journalists. In this episode of the Police Accountability Report, hosts Taya Graham and Stephen Janis investigate two recent arrests of Corners News, whom police charged after he tried to film a series of accident scenes. We discuss the applicable laws and rising legal threats against YouTube activists, examining the implications of the push by Texas police to charge people exercising their First Amendment rights.

Read the transcript of this podcast: https://therealnews.com/cops-arrested-him-for-filming-an-accident-scene-but-did-the-police-break-the-law

Pre-Production/Studio: Stephen Janis
Post-Production: Stephen Janis, Adam Coley

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Apr 22, 2022
Side gigs and selling plasma: Undergraduate and graduate workers have had enough
2596
Right now, a majority of residential advisers at Kenyon College, organized with the Kenyon Student Worker Organizing Committee, are on an indefinite strike over unfair labor practices. At the same time, over 1,750 graduate student workers at Indiana University with the Indiana Graduate Workers Coalition are on strike, demanding that the university administration formally recognize their union, pay graduate workers a livable wage, and eliminate costly student fees. In this episode of Working People, TRNN Editor-in-Chief Maximillian Alvarez talks about these important struggles with three worker-organizers across the two campuses: Molly Orr, a sophomore at Kenyon College who works at the Kenyon Farm and the Writing Center; Nora Weber, a fourth-year PhD candidate in Sociology at Indiana University; and Anne Kavalerchik, a third-year PhD candidate in Sociology and Informatics at Indiana University.

Read the transcript of this episode and see full show notes:

Pre-Production: Maximillian Alvarez
Post-Production: Jules Taylor

Featured Music (all songs sourced from the Free Music Archive at freemusicarchive.org):
Jules Taylor, "Working People Theme Song"

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Apr 21, 2022
Jailed her for a crime she didn't commit, Dreama Caldwell is now taking on the system
1403
Alamance County, North Carolina, is probably best known for its defense of Confederate monuments and backing Republicans in every presidential campaign since Jimmy Carter. But an important grassroots fight for racial and economic justice is currently unfolding there. One of the leaders of that fight is Dreama Caldwell, a Black working mother who, in 2015, faced a $40,000 bail for a crime she didn’t commit—now she is working to organize across racial and class lines to build grassroots power in rural areas that have been abandoned by the major political parties.

In the latest installment of his investigative series “Defending Democracy in the 2022 Midterm Elections,” supported by the Solutions Journalism Network, TRNN’s Jaisal Noor speaks with Caldwell about her story and her organizing work with Down Home North Carolina.

Featured music courtesy of Joe Troop: “The Rise of Dreama Caldwell” by Joe Troop

Read the transcript of this podcast: https://therealnews.com/jailed-for-a-crime-she-didnt-commit-dreama-caldwell-is-now-taking-on-the-system

Pre-Production/Studio: Jaisal Noor
Post-Production: Jules Taylor


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Apr 20, 2022
How the war in Ukraine is being fought in the media
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As is the case with any war, the war in Ukraine is being fought on many fronts: in the streets, in the financial realm, and in the media. The battle over information about the war itself, how it started, and who is most at fault (and what their motivations are) is a critical factor shaping how governments and citizens around the world respond to the unfolding conflict. In this panel, TRNN contributor Radhika Desai speaks with Benjamin Norton and Daniel Haiphong about Western media’s coverage of the war, corporate media’s complicity in fomenting conflict and feeding the military-industrial complex, and about what critical media literacy tools people can develop to better navigate the fog of war.

Benjamin Norton is a journalist, writer, and filmmaker based in Latin America. He is the founder and editor of Multipolarista and was formerly a producer and reporter for TRNN. Daniel Haiphong is a journalist, writer, political analyst, and host of The Left Lens. He is a weekly contributor to The Black Agenda Report and his work has been featured in a range of outlets, including MintPress, CounterPunch, and Friends of Socialist China. He is also the co-author of American Exceptionalism and American Innocence: A People’s History of Fake News—From the Revolutionary War to the War on Terror.

Read the transcript of this podcast: https://therealnews.com/how-the-war-in-ukraine-is-being-fought-in-the-media

Pre-Production: Paul Graham
Studio/Post-Production: Cameron Granadino, Adam Coley


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Apr 20, 2022
Police and the policy of exceptionalism: A guide to debunking anti-defund rhetoric
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The debate over defunding police has become part of a broad ideological battle over how and when law enforcement should face public accountability. Police Accountability Report hosts Taya Graham and Stephen Janis examine this debate in the context of their own reporting on police overreach and abuse. The pair breaks down the flaws in the anti-defund argument by revealing how law enforcement partisans have successfully avoided substantive oversight and public accountability.

Read the transcript of this podcast: https://therealnews.com/police-and-the-policy-of-exceptionalism-a-guide-to-debunking-anti-defund-rhetoric

Pre-Production/Studio/Post-Production: Stephen Janis

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Apr 19, 2022
Rise of the right: Don’t let them win
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Throughout our special special series of The Marc Steiner Show, co-hosted by Marc Steiner and Bill Fletcher Jr., we have examined the rise of the right in the US and beyond, we have explored the different tendencies and motivations fueling today’s surge in far-right politics, and we have engaged with a range of critical voices who have helped us understand how we got here and what we can do about it. In between recording panel interviews for this series in the TRNN studio, Marc and Bill recorded a candid discussion about their own personal histories of organizing against the far right, and about what lessons we can learn from the past to be better equipped for the fight ahead. In this final “post-game” installment of “Rise of the Right,” we are sharing Marc and Bill’s one-on-one conversation about how and why we must face the far right head on.

To listen to the full “Rise of the Right” series of The Marc Steiner Show on TRNN, visit the series page: https://therealnews.com/the-rise-of-the-right

Pre-Production: Dwayne Gladden, Stephen Frank, Kayla Rivara, Maximillian Alvarez, Jocelyn Dombroski
Studio: Dwayne Gladden
Post-Production: Stephen Frank

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Apr 18, 2022
From Mexico to Milwaukee, this teacher is fighting for her community
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Just over ten years ago, the landscape for workers’ rights and organized labor in the state of Wisconsin changed dramatically. The passage of Act 10 under Republican Gov. Scott Walker was a hammer blow to the labor movement that essentially stripped collective bargaining rights from public sector workers, made it much more difficult for workers to organize, and forced unions to take massive concessions on healthcare, retirement benefits, and much more. Soon after, in 2015, Walker signed legislation that turned Wisconsin into a “right to work” state, issuing another blow to unions in a state once heralded as a bellwether of the labor movement. But all hope is not lost. In the wake of this coordinated assault on workers and unions, many are using the tools still available to them to build up their communities and rebuild working-class power in Wisconsin. This is precisely what we have been investigating in our special series of conversations with teachers, organizers, scholars, and activists in Wisconsin that TRNN Editor-in-Chief Maximillian Alvarez, Cameron Granadino (TRNN), and Hannah Faris (In These Times) recorded in the summer of 2021 as part of a special collaboration between The Real News Network and In These Times magazine for “The Wisconsin Idea.” In the latest installment in this series, we talk with Maricela Aguilar Monroy, an educator and organizer in Milwaukee who comes from an undocumented and mixed-status family. After moving to the US from Mexico, Maricela has spent most of her life in Milwaukee and is working to strengthen the community that has provided a home for her so it can continue to provide a home for others.

Pre-Production: Maximillian Alvarez, Hannah Faris, Alice Herman, Cameron Granadino, Eleni Schirmer (research consultant), John Fleissner (research consultant), John Yaggi (research consultant), Harvey J. Kaye (research consultant), Jon Shelton (research consultant), Adam Mertz (research consultant)
Studio: Cameron Granadino
Post-Production: Cameron Granadino, Stephen Frank, Kayla Rivara, Jules Taylor

The Wisconsin Idea is an independent reporting project of People’s Action Institute, Citizen Action of Wisconsin and In These Times.

Read the full description (including additional links/info) and the transcript of this podcast:

Featured Music (all songs sourced from the Free Music Archive at freemusicarchive.org):
Jules Taylor, "Working People Theme Song"

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Apr 14, 2022
Corporate debts get canceled while millions of student debtors sink
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As of this year, the total outstanding federal student loan debt is over $1.7 trillion, which is collectively held by around 46 million borrowers. Even with temporary, pandemic-related pauses on student loan repayments, the debt crisis continues to worsen, and calls for complete debt cancellation continue to mount. On April 4, as part of a national day of action, members and allies of the Debt Collective, a debtor’s union, demonstrated outside of the Department of Education in Washington, DC, demanding that President Biden issue an Executive Order to cancel all student loan debt. In this installment of The Marc Steiner Show, Marc speaks with Ami Schneider, one of the debt strikers who attended the demonstration in DC, about the growing movement to undo the colossal policy failure that created the student debt crisis.

Ami Schneider is an organizer and debt striker with the Debt Collective who holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from the Art Institute. In 2019, she published an article in HuffPost titled “I'm Drowning In $120K Of Student Debt And I'm Suing Betsy DeVos To Make Her Fix That.”

Tune in for new episodes of The Marc Steiner Show every Monday and Thursday on TRNN.

Read the transcript of this podcast: https://therealnews.com/corporate-debts-get-canceled-while-millions-of-student-debtors-sink

Pre-Production/Studio: Adam Coley
Post-Production: Stephen Frank

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Apr 12, 2022
Prisoners allege abuse at ‘shock’ camps
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On March 10, the Moriah Shock Incarceration Correctional Facility in upstate New York closed its doors. Opponents to the closure said that the Moriah Shock facility provided essential jobs for the community and that the military bootcamp style of the program at so-called “shock" camps helps inmates recover from issues with alcohol and drug abuse. But is this true? What are “shock” camps? What goes on there? And do they actually help incarcerated people? In this episode of Rattling the Bars, Mansa Musa speaks with Keri Blakinger about the closure of the Moriah facility and about her recent article on “shock” camps, "'A Humiliating Experience’: Prisoners Allege Abuse at Discipline-focused ‘Shock’ Camps.”

Keri Blakinger is a staff writer for The Marshall Project whose work focuses on prisons and jails. She writes “Inside Out,” a regular column published in collaboration with NBC News. She previously covered criminal justice for the Houston Chronicle, and her work has appeared in the Washington Post Magazine, VICE, the New York Daily News, and The New York Times. She is the The Marshall Project’s first formerly incarcerated reporter. Her memoir, Corrections in Ink, comes out in June 2022.

Read the transcript of this interview: https://therealnews.com/the-shocking-truth-about-what-prisoners-endure-at-shock-camps

Pre-Production/Studio/Post-Production: Cameron Granadino

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Apr 11, 2022
Rise of the Right: How do we defeat the far right?
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Over the course of our special podcast series on the “Rise of the Right,” we have sought to understand the scope of the far right’s growth and influence in the US and beyond, the historical and ideological roots of today’s far-right movements, and how those movements are interconnected. But it would be inexcusable to end this series without exploring what can be done to blunt, if not fully defeat, the far right. All too often, the response to the growing threats posed by the far right in liberal and progressive circles is despair and fatalistic acceptance of an impending, unstoppable, dystopian future. But we cannot and must not accept the future the far right wants to create as an inevitability.

In this special series of The Marc Steiner Show, co-hosted by Marc Steiner and Bill Fletcher Jr., we have examined the rise of the right in the US and beyond, we have explored the different tendencies and motivations fueling today’s surge in far-right politics, and we have engaged with a range of critical voices who have helped us understand how we got here and what we can do about it. In Episode Five of “Rise of the Right,” Marc and Bill are joined by Marina Sitrin, Faye Guenther, and Ash-Lee Woodward Henderson to discuss how to build an effective, principled, and big-tent coalition that has the power to oppose and defeat the reactionary forces of today’s far right.

Marina Sitrin is an associate professor in the Department of Sociology at SUNY Binghamton; she is the author and co-author of multiple books, including Everyday Revolutions: Horizontalism and Autonomy in Argentina and They Can’t Represent Us!: Reinventing Democracy from Greece to Occupy. Faye Guenther is the elected president of Washington state’s United Food and Commercial Workers Local 21, the largest UFCW local in the nation. Ash-Lee Woodard Henderson is the co-executive director of the Highlander Research & Education Center; she is a longtime activist and organizer and has been deeply involved in the Movement for Black Lives and the fight against environmental racism, and she serves on the governance council of the Southern Movement Assembly.

Read the transcript of this podcast: https://therealnews.com/how-do-we-defeat-the-far-right

Listen to previous episodes of this special series, and tune in every Monday for new installments of The Marc Steiner Show on TRNN.

Pre-Production: Dwayne Gladden, Stephen Frank, Kayla Rivara, Maximillian Alvarez, Jocelyn Dombroski
Studio: Dwayne Gladden
Post-Production: Stephen Frank

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Apr 11, 2022
From Amazon to Starbucks, workers are rising up—and progressives need to support them at all costs
2814
Last Friday, Amazon workers at the JFK8 warehouse in Staten Island shocked the world by pulling off one of the great labor victories in US history, becoming the first Amazon workforce in the country to vote to unionize. A thousand miles away, in the rural setting of Brookwood, Alabama, 1,100 coal miners on strike at Warrior Met Coal have just passed the one-year anniversary of the day they hit the picket line. Around the country, workers are rising up, demanding more, and winning important victories, even though the deck is stacked against them. The question is: Where will the reinforcements come from? How can the fight that workers are waging on the shop floor be supported and empowered by a broad progressive movement that is united around the cause of economic, political, and social justice?

In a recent piece published on CommonDreams, Professor Harvey J. Kaye, an expert on the New Deal and FDR, and Alan Minsky, the executive director of Progressive Democrats of America, call for progressives to rally behind the proposal for a “21st Century Economic Bill of Rights.” In this interview, TRNN Editor-in-Chief Maximillian Alvarez speaks with Professor Kaye and labor leader Sara Nelson about the state of the labor movement today and what it would mean if progressive forces within and beyond the labor movement united around a shared vision for “a platform of economic policies designed to enable Americans, all Americans, to secure the nation’s promise of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.”

Sara Nelson is the International President of the Association of Flight Attendants-CWA, AFL-CIO, representing around 50,000 flight attendants at 17 airlines. Harvey J. Kaye is Professor Emeritus of Democracy and Justice Studies at the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay and the author of many books, including: The Fight for the Four Freedoms: What Made FDR and the Greatest Generation Truly Great; FDR on Democracy; and Take Hold of Our History: Make America Radical Again.

Pre-Production/Studio/Post-Production: Cameron Granadino

Read the transcript of this interview: https://therealnews.com/from-amazon-to-starbucks-workers-are-rising-up-and-progressives-need-to-support-them-at-all-costs

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Apr 08, 2022
Joy James on the rise of the Black bourgeoisie
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In the 1970s and ‘80s, the image of the Black “welfare queen” was used as a racist scare tactic and a propaganda tool to justify gutting the postwar welfare state, “public good” institutions, and economic programs that benefited the poor and working class. This systemic and systematic assault, which we now attribute to the political project of neoliberalism, was very much a bipartisan effort that extended well into the ‘90s and 2000s. Now, scaremongering about single mothers of color taking advantage of “the system” has increasingly been overtaken by celebrations of “Black girl magic” and the veneration of a growing Black bourgeoisie. How did we get here?

In their latest interview for TRNN, co-hosts of THIS IS REVOLUTION Jason Myles and Pascal Robert speak with Dr. Joy James about the destructive triumph of neoliberalism in the US and about the different institutions, classes, ideological strands, and clashing factions that have developed within the sphere of Black politics in the neoliberal era. Dr. James is a world-renowned scholar and activist, Ebenezer Fitch Professor of Humanities at Williams College, and the author of numerous books, including: Resisting State Violence: Radicalism, Gender, and Race in US Culture; States of Confinement: Policing, Detention, and Prisons; and Seeking the Beloved Community: A Feminist Race Reader.

Read the transcript of this interview: https://therealnews.com/from-welfare-queen-to-black-girl-magic-neoliberalism-and-the-rise-of-the-black-bourgeoisie

Pre-Production/Studio: Jason Myles
Post-Production: Cameron Granadino


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Apr 07, 2022
This radical artist has been pissing off the powerful for over 50 years
10798
We talk with radical artist, registered nurse, and feminist barrier-breaker Susan Simensky Bietila about her life making art and ‘making good trouble.’

To commemorate Working People’s 200th episode, we have a special installment of our series of conversations with teachers, organizers, scholars, and activists in Wisconsin that TRNN Editor-in-Chief Maximillian Alvarez, Cameron Granadino (TRNN), and Hannah Faris (In These Times) recorded in the summer of 2021 as part of a special collaboration between The Real News Network and In These Times magazine for “The Wisconsin Idea.” In this episode, Alvarez talks with longtime artist, activist, and registered nurse Susan Simensky Bietila in Milwaukee. Hearkening back to the episodes we published in the first season of Working People, this is an extended conversation that traces the incredible, winding path that Simensky Bietila has taken in life, from growing up in the projects in New York to drawing and collaging for The Guardian, the radical US newsweekly, during the height of the Vietnam War, to protesting at the Wisconsin State Capitol in 2011 during the Wisconsin Uprising.

Pre-Production: Maximillian Alvarez, Hannah Faris, Alice Herman, Cameron Granadino, Eleni Schirmer (research consultant), John Fleissner (research consultant), John Yaggi (research consultant), Harvey J. Kaye (research consultant), Jon Shelton (research consultant), Adam Mertz (research consultant)

Studio: Cameron Granadino

Post-Production: Cameron Granadino, Stephen Frank, Kayla Rivara, Jules Taylor


The Wisconsin Idea is an independent reporting project of People’s Action Institute, Citizen Action of Wisconsin and In These Times.


Read the full description (including additional links/info) and the transcript of this podcast:


Featured Music (all songs sourced from the Free Music Archive at freemusicarchive.org):
Jules Taylor, "Working People Theme Song"


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Apr 07, 2022
Rise of the Right: The Right International
4599
The election of Donald Trump and the siege of the US Capitol on Jan. 6 made clear the rising political power of the right in America, but this is not an isolated phenomenon—right-wing power is surging across the globe. From India, Brazil, and the Philippines, to Hungary and the US, we find right-wing political movements that are challenging the established order and that are fueled by anti-immigration mania, racism, patriarchy, historical nostalgia, as well as the destruction wrought by colonialism, the fall of Leninist states, and the failure of modern capitalism to meet the needs of masses of people. How are these manifestations of far-right politics similar to one another, where do they differ, and how do we fight against them?

In this special series of The Marc Steiner Show, co-hosted by Marc Steiner and Bill Fletcher Jr., we will examine the rise of the right in the US and beyond, we will explore the different tendencies and motivations fueling today’s surge in far-right politics, and we will engage with a range of critical voices who can help us understand how we got here and what we can do about it. In Episode Four of “Rise of the Right,” Marc and Bill are joined by Kristóf Szombati, Sadia Abbas, and Dimitri Lascaris to discuss the international dimensions and connections between far-right movements around the globe in the 21st century.

Kristóf Szombati is a research fellow at the Max Planck Institute for Social Anthropology in Halle, Germany, and the author of The Revolt of the Provinces: Anti-Gypsyism and Right-Wing Politics in Hungary. Sadia Abbas is an associate professor of postcolonial studies in the Department of English at Rutgers University-Newark, where she is also the director of the Center for European Studies; she is the author of At Freedom’s Limit: Islam and the Postcolonial Predicament and the novel The Empty Room. Dimitri Lascaris is a lawyer, journalist, and activist, and was a candidate in the last federal Green Party leadership race in Canada, finishing second with just over 10,000 votes. He is also a longtime contributor and current board member at The Real News.

Tune in every Monday over the next month for new installments of this special series of The Marc Steiner Show on TRNN.


Read the transcript of this podcast:


Pre-Production: Dwayne Gladden, Stephen Frank, Kayla Rivara, Maximillian Alvarez, Jocelyn Dombroski
Studio: Dwayne Gladden
Post-Production: Stephen Frank

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Apr 04, 2022
Art for the End Times: JK Rowling and the curse of the zombie author
5086
JK Rowling, the now-infamous author of the Harry Potter series, has been rightfully condemned for her stances on trans people and gender identity. But what are we supposed to do with her still-popular and influential books and the deep attachments we have to them? It would be easy to condemn Harry Potter and all its fans as neoliberal trash, but, as Lyta and her guests discuss, that’s a reductive framing that doesn’t address the complex ways that readers, not just authors, define literary works and their meaning.

In the latest installment of Art for the End Times, Lyta speaks with Jessie Earl and Aja Romano about fandom, the deep problems with the Harry Potter franchise, and how we handle “The Death of the Author” in a social media era when the author is very much alive and spouting bigoted opinions. Jessie Earl is a writer, editor, producer, and host of the popular YouTube channel Jessie Gender, where she talks about “the nuance in the nerdy,” focusing on “issues facing the LGBTQ community, transgender specific community, women, nonbinary and autistic folks as well as other social and political issues through and within geek topics, with an eye to the most vulnerable.” Aja Romano is a culture staff writer for Vox reporting on internet culture. For Vox, Romano wrote a widely shared piece titled “Harry Potter and the Author Who Failed Us.”


Read the transcript of this podcast:

Pre-Production/Studio/Post-Production: Dwayne Gladden

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Apr 04, 2022
How the media turns war into a spectator sport
2777
From the moment Russian troops invaded Ukraine on Feb. 24, people in the West have been glued to their TV, computer, and phone screens, furiously consuming news about the war and posting their reactions online. As the war in Ukraine enters its second month, it’s become clearer than ever that our corporate and social media ecosystem has not given us the tools to critically navigate the incessant militaristic propaganda, nor has it provided many pathways for people to do anything besides watch and post. In this special panel, which was recorded in the TRNN studio on Wednesday, March 16, we have an open discussion about how Western media has failed to prepare us to respond productively to war, how independent media can and must be used to better inform and activate audiences, and how we at The Real News are succeeding or failing to fulfill that mission in our coverage of the war in Ukraine.

Panelists include: TRNN Editor-in-Chief Maximillian Alvarez; Marc Steiner, host of The Marc Steiner Show; TRNN Managing Editor Jocelyn Dombroski; and Bill Fletcher Jr., renowned author, activist, and cohost of “The Rise of the Right,” a special investigative series of The Marc Steiner Show premiering now at The Real News.

Read the transcript of this interview: https://therealnews.com/how-the-media-turns-war-into-a-spectator-sport

Pre-Production/Studio/Post-Production: Dwayne Gladden


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Apr 02, 2022
No, Russia isn’t ‘reviving the Soviet empire’
3834
Even before Russia’s invasion of Ukraine began on Feb. 24, pundits and politicians in the West have uncritically made bizarre claims that we are witnessing Vladimir Putin’s master plan to “revive the Soviet empire” or re-establish the pre-Soviet Russian empire. At the same time, in other corners of political discourse occupied by the left, it can seem like “empire” is a term that can only be used when referring to Western powers, particularly the US. What do we mean when we talk about “empire” and “imperialism” in the 21st century, and can these terms help us make sense of the war in Ukraine, why it’s happening, and where this is all headed? TRNN Editor-in-Chief Maximillian Alvarez speaks with Professors Ronald Grigor Suny and Valerie A. Kivelson about their extensive research into the history of Russia’s past empires and about what that history can (and can’t) tell us about Russia’s war in Ukraine.

Ronald Grigor Suny is the William H. Sewell Jr. Distinguished University Professor of History and Professor of Political Science at the University of Michigan, and Emeritus Professor of Political Science and History at the University of Chicago. He is the author of many books, including: “They Can Live in the Desert But Nowhere Else”: A History of the Armenian Genocide; Red Flag Unfurled: Historians, the Russian Revolution, and the Soviet Experiment; and Stalin: Passage to Revolution. Valerie A. Kivelson is the Thomas N. Tentler Collegiate Professor and Arthur F. Thurnau Professor of History at the University of Michigan. She is the author and editor of numerous books, including: Cartographies of Tsardom: The Land and Its Meanings in Seventeenth-Century Russia; Picturing Russia: Explorations in Visual Culture; and Desperate Magic: The Moral Economy of Witchcraft in Seventeenth-Century Russia. Together, Suny and Kivelson are the coauthors of Russia’s Empires, which was published in 2017 by Oxford University Press.

Read the transcript of this interview: https://therealnews.com/no-russia-isnt-reviving-the-soviet-empire

Pre-Production/Studio/Post-Production: Cameron Granadino


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Apr 01, 2022
WNBA star Brittney Griner is a political prisoner in Russia
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As the Russian military invasion of Ukraine enters its second month and diplomatic relations between the US and Russia are at their most strained point in decades, seven-time WNBA All-Star Brittney Griner is being held as a political prisoner by Russian authorities. As famed sports analyst and journalist Dave Zirin recently wrote for MSNBC News, “While Griner’s detention has received a measure of media attention, the fact that she was in Russia in the first place demands its own examination... Like most professional women’s players, who make a microcosmic fraction of what the men make in the NBA, this kind of international play is essential for supplementing their income.” TRNN Editor-in-Chief Maximillian Alvarez speaks with Zirin about the current status of Griner’s detention, why sports media hasn’t made Griner’s case a bigger story, and what can be done to bring her home safely.

Pre-Production: Maximillian Alvarez
Studio/Post-Production: Adam Coley

EDITOR'S NOTE: When referencing Sue Hovey, former ESPN executive editor and co-author of Brittney Griner’s 2015 memoir In My Skin: My Life On and Off the Basketball Court, Alvarez mistakenly states that Hovey is the former ESPN "executive director."


Read the transcript of this interview: https://therealnews.com/wnba-star-brittney-griner-is-a-political-prisoner-in-russia


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Mar 29, 2022
Workers at Southern Poverty Law Center protest discriminatory working conditions
1738
The Southern Poverty Law Center is a historic civil rights organization that, for 50 years, has been advancing social justice through legal, educational, and advocacy efforts, primarily in the Deep South. However, after overwhelmingly voting to unionize in 2019, staff at SPLC say the organization has been stalling negotiations over their first union contract and unfairly treating its lowest-paid and most marginalized workers. On Monday, March 28, as noted in a press release from the SPLC Union, workers held an informational picket outside the organization’s headquarters in Montgomery, Alabama, "to protest management's forcing mostly Black women employees to return to the office while allowing the option of remote work for white and higher-paid employees." In this Working People interview, TRNN Editor-in-Chief Maximillian Alvarez talks with Katie Glenn, who has worked for SPLC for nearly three years and is a member of the SPLC Union bargaining committee, and Lisa D. Wright, who has worked at SPLC for over 20 years, was a member of the original organizing committee, and is also a steward and a member of the SPLC Union bargaining committee.


Read the full description (including additional links/info) and the transcript of this podcast:


Pre-Production: Maximillian Alvarez
Post-Production: Jules Taylor

Featured Music (all songs sourced from the Free Music Archive at freemusicarchive.org):
Jules Taylor, "Working People Theme Song"

Help us continue producing radically independent news and in-depth analysis by following us and becoming a monthly sustainer:
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Mar 29, 2022
The for-profit companies charging prisoners to read their own mail
1405
According to The Sentencing Project, “Private prisons in the United States incarcerated 115,428 people in 2019, representing 8% of the total state and federal prison population.” However, while private prisons still make up a minority of carceral institutions in the US, the infiltration of privatization has spread throughout the prison-industrial complex. In this episode of Rattling the Bars, Mansa Musa speaks with Paul Wright about the dehumanizing practice of prisons digitizing mail, which allows for increased surveillance, and for profit-seeking companies to charge inmates and their families exorbitant fees to read mail on electric portals.

Paul Wright is the founder and executive director of the Human Rights Defense Center. He is also editor of Prison Legal News (PLN), the longest-running independent prisoner rights publication in US history. Wright has co-authored three PLN anthologies: The Celling of America: An Inside Look at the U.S. Prison Industry; Prison Nation: The Warehousing of America's Poor; and Prison Profiteers: Who Makes Money from Mass Imprisonment.


Read the transcript of this interview:


Pre-Production/Studio/Post-Production: Cameron Granadino


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Mar 28, 2022
Rise of the Right: Gender rules
3330
Whenever women have raised their voices and demanded equity in our society, or whenever oppressive gender relations have been threatened, a vicious backlash or counterattack inevitably follows. Sometimes under the cover of religion, other times justified by appealing to culture, tradition, or science, male supremacy and misogyny are central and alarmingly consistent features defining the politics of the global far right. What is it about the worldview and overarching political project of the far right that makes the thought of gender equality and an end to traditional gender roles and hierarchies such a threatening prospect? And how has the crusade against “gender ideology” galvanized far-right politics around the globe?

In this special series of The Marc Steiner Show, co-hosted by Marc Steiner and Bill Fletcher Jr., we will examine the rise of the right in the US and beyond, we will explore the different tendencies and motivations fueling today’s surge in far-right politics, and we will engage with a range of critical voices who can help us understand how we got here and what we can do about it. In Episode Three of “Rise of the Right,” Marc and Bill are joined by Judith Butler and Alex DiBranco to discuss how, beyond the surface-level individual displays of misogyny among individual members of the far right, gender politics are a definitive feature of far-right ideologies and social movements.

Judith Butler is a world-renowned philosopher and gender theorist whose books have been translated into over 27 languages. They are the Maxine Elliot Professor in the Department of Comparative Literature and the Program of Critical Theory at the University of California, Berkeley, and the author of numerous books, including Gender Trouble: Feminism and the Subversion of Identity; Undoing Gender; Parting Ways: Jewishness and the Critique of Zionism; and Frames of War: When Is Life Grievable?

Alex DiBranco is executive director of the Institute for Research on Male Supremacism. Her writings on male supremacism and incel terrorism have appeared in the International Centre for Counter-Terrorism Journal and The Public Eye quarterly, and her commentary has been featured in a range of outlets, including NPR, The New Republic, the Chicago Tribune, ThinkProgress, and the Southern Poverty Law Center. She has also provided trainings and advice on male supremacist ideology for social justice organizations such as Western States Center, National Domestic Workers Alliance, and SURJ.

Tune in every Monday over the next month for new installments of this special series of The Marc Steiner Show on TRNN.


Read the transcript of this podcast: https://therealnews.com/why-the-far-right-is-so-obsessed-with-gender-politics


Pre-Production: Dwayne Gladden, Stephen Frank, Kayla Rivara, Maximillian Alvarez, Jocelyn Dombroski
Studio: Dwayne Gladden
Post-Production: Stephen Frank

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Mar 28, 2022
How oil and the war in Ukraine are shaping negotiations over the Iran nuclear deal
2164
As Russia’s assault on Ukraine grinds on and fears over the deployment of chemical or nuclear weapons grows, Iran nuclear talks are picking up speed down in Vienna. The aim of these negotiations, ostensibly, is to revive the Joint Comprehensive Plan Of Action (JCPOA), more commonly known as the Iran nuclear deal, which the US withdrew from under President Donald Trump in 2018, though negotiations appear to be lubricated by Iranian oil. With Russian oil and gas now under sanction, though still flowing, Western states are desperate to feed their fossil fuel addiction. TRNN contributor David Kattenburg speaks with CODEPINK co-founder Medea Benjamin and Executive Director of the Vienna Center for Disarmament and Non-Proliferation Elena Sokova about the complicated geopolitical pressures the Russian war in Ukraine and US domestic politics are putting on discussions regarding the Iran nuclear deal and a nuclear-free Middle East.

Medea Benjamin is co-founder of CODEPINK, a women-led grassroots organization working to end US wars and militarism, support peace and human rights initiatives, and redirect US tax dollars into healthcare, education, green jobs and other life-affirming programs. Her most recent book is entitled Inside Iran: The Real History and Politics of the Islamic Republic of Iran. Elena Sokova has resumed the role of Executive Director of the Vienna Center for Disarmament and Non-Proliferation. She was the first Executive Director of the VCDNP in 2011-2015 and afterwards served as Deputy Director of the James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies (CNS) at the Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey. She writes and lectures widely on nuclear disarmament issues.


Read the transcript of this interview: https://therealnews.com/how-oil-and-the-war-in-ukraine-are-shaping-negotiations-over-the-iran-nuclear-deal


Pre-Production/Studio/Post-Production: Cameron Granadino

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Mar 28, 2022
A historic victory for Howard University’s non-tenure-track faculty
1197
Hundreds of non-tenure-track lecturers and adjunct faculty at Howard University, one of the most storied higher education institutions in the US, have been fighting for nearly four years to negotiate their first union contract with the university administration. On Wednesday, March 23, just hours before they were set to go on strike, the union bargaining team reached a tentative agreement with the administration, which members will be reviewing and voting on in the coming weeks. Reporting from Howard’s campus in Washington DC, TRNN Editor-in-Chief Maximillian Alvarez speaks with Corey Lamont, a lecturer in Howard’s English Department and member of the SEIU Local 500 bargaining unit, about the union’s long fight to secure their first contract with the university and what having that contract will mean for faculty and the broader campus community.

Read the transcript of this interview: https://therealnews.com/a-historic-victory-for-howard-universitys-non-tenure-track-faculty

Pre-Production/Studio/Post-Production: Cameron Granadino

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Mar 25, 2022
Cop arrested a man for not walking on a sidewalk, but he didn’t know anyone would see this video
1495
When a Terre Haute, Indiana, man was arrested for not walking on a sidewalk on a street that doesn’t have one, the Police Accountability Report investigated. We obtained body camera and dashcam video evidence that offers a rare glimpse into the indifference of American law enforcement—evidence that not only contradicts the allegations made by the arresting officer, but that also reveals how difficult it is to escape the tendrils of this country’s law enforcement-industrial complex.

Read the transcript of this panel: https://therealnews.com/cop-arrested-a-man-for-not-walking-on-a-sidewalk-but-he-didnt-know-anyone-would-see-this-video

Pre-Production/Studio: Stephen Janis
Post-Production: Stephen Janis, Adam Coley

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Mar 25, 2022
A just transition away from the war economy and military-industrial complex is possible
5595
Ever since World War II, the US economy has become increasingly reliant on the war industry to provide jobs. It was, in fact, World War II that converted our existing economy into one dependent on government spending from the Pentagon and its associated agencies and industries. But it is possible to convert the economy back the other way, from one centered on the war industry to one that generates good jobs while addressing the existential threats of the climate emergency, pandemics, and ecological devastation.

In this panel discussion recorded on March 10, 2021, and organized by the War Industries Resisters Network (WIRN), panelists discuss the existential need to transition away from the war economy and the practical steps that would make it possible. (WIRN is a coalition of local groups and organizations across the US and around the world that are opposing their local war industries and collaborating to confront corporate control of US foreign policy.) With permission from the event organizers, we are sharing this recording with TRNN audiences.

Panelists Include: Miriam Pemberton, founder of the Peace Economy Transitions Project at the Institute for Policy Studies in Washington, DC, and author of the upcoming book Six Stops on the National Security Tour: Rethinking Warfare Economies; David Story, a third-generation union member born and raised in Alabama, President of the Machinists & Aerospace Workers Union Local 44 in Decatur, Alabama, and a founding member of the Huntsville IWW; Taylor Barnes, an award-winning, multilingual investigative journalist based in Atlanta who covers military affairs and the defense industry, and whose work has been published in local and national media outlets, including Southerly Magazine, Facing South, Responsible Statecraft, and The Intercept. This panel is hosted by Ken Jones of Reject Raytheon Asheville, a local movement of activists and peacemakers who have come together to ensure that the economic development of Buncombe County relies not on incentives given to war profiteering multinational corporations, but rather on investments in a sustainable local economic model.

Read the transcript of this panel: https://therealnews.com/a-just-transition-away-from-the-war-economy-and-military-industrial-complex-is-possible

Post-Production: Cameron Granadino

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Mar 25, 2022
Youth activists and teachers show how to organize interracial, intergenerational coalitions
3437
Retired teacher Al Levie helped organize his high-school students in Racine, Wisconsin, then the students worked together to build a powerful movement.

We are diving right back into our special series of conversations with teachers, organizers, scholars, and activists in Wisconsin that TRNN Editor-in-Chief Maximillian Alvarez, Cameron Granadino (TRNN), and Hannah Faris (In These Times) recorded in the summer of 2021 as part of a special collaboration between The Real News Network and In These Times magazine for “The Wisconsin Idea.” In this episode of Working People, recorded at the Racine Labor Center in Racine, Wisconsin, Alvarez talks to retired teacher and longtime organizer Al Levie about the long and coordinated assault on workers and unions that turned Wisconsin into a "right to work" state and that stripped public sector workers of their collective bargaining rights with the passage of Act 10 under Republic governor Scott Walker. But they also talk about Levie’s life as an organizer, the work he and his students have done to build power in Racine, and about the very real possibility of organizing and mobilizing interracial and intergenerational coalitions of people to fight for justice, equality, and dignity.


Pre-Production: Maximillian Alvarez, Hannah Faris, Alice Herman, Cameron Granadino, Eleni Schirmer (research consultant), John Fleissner (research consultant), John Yaggi (research consultant), Harvey J. Kaye (research consultant), Jon Shelton (research consultant), Adam Mertz (research consultant)

Studio: Cameron Granadino

Post-Production: Cameron Granadino, Stephen Frank, Kayla Rivara, Jules Taylor


The Wisconsin Idea is an independent reporting project of People’s Action Institute, Citizen Action of Wisconsin and In These Times.

Read the full description (including additional links/info) and the transcript of this podcast: https://therealnews.com/youth-activists-and-teachers-show-how-to-organize-interracial-intergenerational-coalitions


Featured Music: Jules Taylor, "Working People Theme Song"


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Mar 24, 2022
From ‘Dead Man Walking’ to fighting to abolish the death penalty: Sister Helen Prejean’s journey
1972
From her world-famous book "Dead Man Walking" to a life spent educating the public about the inhumanity of the death penalty, the work of activist nun Sister Helen Prejean is known around the globe. What is less widely known is the story of how Sister Helen came to do this work and, as the description for her latest memoir "River of Fire" notes, how she evolved in her “spiritual journey from praying for God to solve the world’s problems to engaging full-tilt in working to transform societal injustices.” In this special conversation for Rattling the Bars, TRNN Executive Producer Eddie Conway speaks with Sister Helen about "River of Fire" and about the deep historical roots of the racist, colonialist violence that is embodied today in America’s prison-industrial complex.

Read the transcript of this interview: https://therealnews.com/from-dead-man-walking-to-fighting-to-abolish-the-death-penalty-sister-helen-prejeans-journey

Pre-Production/Studio/Post-Production: Cameron Granadino

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Mar 24, 2022
Howard University faculty win tentative agreement just hours before planned strike
2933
Since full-time lecturers at Howard University originally voted to unionize, they have spent nearly four years bargaining with the university administration to get their first contract. On March 23, just hours before lecturers and nearly 200 adjunct professors, who have been fighting for their second contract, were set to strike, the union secured a historic tentative agreement with the university and called it off. Union members will be voting on whether or not to ratify the tentative agreement in the coming weeks. Even though the strike was narrowly averted, Howard has a long way to go to adequately address the long-running systemic problems that brought non-tenure-track faculty to the point of hitting the picket line.

In this episode of Working People, recorded the day before faculty were set to strike, TRNN Editor-in-Chief Maximillian Alvarez talks to Dr. Aisha Bonner Cozad, an Adjunct Associate Professor at the Howard School of Social Work, and Dr. Sean Pears, a Lecturer in Howard's College of Arts & Sciences, about the long contract fight for non-tenure-track faculty at one of the most storied HBCUs in the country.

Pre-Production: Maximillian Alvarez
Post-Production: Jules Taylor

Read the transcript of this podcast: https://therealnews.com/howard-university-faculty-win-tentative-agreement-just-hours-before-planned-strike

Additional links/info below...

Dr. Bonner Cozad's LinkedIn page:
https://www.linkedin.com/in/aisha-bonner-cozad-ph-d-b70552a/

Dr. Pears's Twitter page: https://twitter.com/Sean_Pears

Howard Teaching Faculty Union Twitter page and Instagram:
https://twitter.com/LecturersHU
https://www.instagram.com/lecturershu/

Peter Lucas, Jacobin, "Howard University Faculty Are Ready to Strike": https://jacobinmag.com/2022/03/howard-university-faculty-lecturers-adjucts-contract-strike

Rashad Grove, Ebony, "Howard University Faculty Threaten to Strike Over Working Conditions":
https://www.ebony.com/news/howard-university-pending-faculty-strike/

Higher Ed Labor United statement: We Stand with Howard University Non-Tenure-Track Faculty and Adjuncts:
https://higheredlaborunited.org/news/solidarity-asks/statement-of-solidarity-with-howard-university-non-tenure-track-faculty/?fbclid=IwAR3HjJP5Vvj0vl7A73Xc2qn26deLKaPugCOE_kXgFgOsSuu0nsHtbNeguII

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Featured Music (all songs sourced from the Free Music Archive: freemusicarchive.org)
Jules Taylor, "Working People Theme Song"
Mar 23, 2022
‘Chronically understaffed,’ underpaid educators in Minneapolis strike against austerity
2421
4,500 educators with the Minneapolis Federation of Teachers have been on strike since March 8, demanding smaller class sizes, better pay and benefits, more mental health resources for students, and increased workforce diversity. After working through the COVID-19 pandemic and years of austerity policies, teachers and education support professionals (ESP) have reached their breaking point. “I have multiple jobs, and I still live paycheck to paycheck because my wages are insufficient,” Ma-Riah Roberson-Moody, a lead negotiator for the ESP chapter of the city's teacher union, recently told NBC News. “I can make more money right now going to work at Target than I do working for Minneapolis Public Schools, and that is difficult.” TRNN Editor-in-Chief Maximillian Alvarez discusses the strike and what educators have been going through in recent years with Karin, an education support professional who has worked in the Minneapolis district for 6 years.

Read the transcript of this interview: https://therealnews.com/chronically-understaffed-underpaid-educators-in-minneapolis-strike-against-austerity

Pre-Production/Studio/Post-Production: Cameron Granadino

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Mar 22, 2022
Rise of the Right: The fear of white replacement
4027
What the official narrative of US history should be, who gets to tell that history, and who the protagonists are have been recurring debates since the founding of the American republic, but they became especially important and heated in the aftermath of the Civil War—and they have been a defining feature of far-right politics ever since. At stake is the question of whose country this is and to whom this land and its future belongs.

In this special series of The Marc Steiner Show, co-hosted by Marc Steiner and Bill Fletcher Jr., we will examine the rise of the right in the US and beyond, we will explore the different tendencies and motivations fueling today’s surge in far-right politics, and we will engage with a range of critical voices who can help us understand how we got here and what we can do about it. In Episode Two of “Rise of the Right,” Marc and Bill are joined by Erica Smiley, Bill Gallegos, and Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz to examine the central place that race, racial hierarchy, and the project of settler colonialism have held in far-right politics historically, and the role they play in driving far-right politics today.

Erica Smiley is a longtime organizer and movement leader, and she is the executive director of Jobs With Justice. Bill Gallegos is an activist who has been involved in the Chicano liberation and environmental justice movements for many years; he also served as the executive director for Communities for a Better Environment. Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz has been active in the international Indigenous movement for more than four decades and is known for her lifelong commitment to national and international social justice issues. She is the winner of the 2017 Lannan Cultural Freedom Prize and she has authored and edited many books, including An Indigenous Peoples’ History of the United States and Not “A Nation of Immigrants”: Settler Colonialism, White Supremacy, and a History of Erasure and Exclusion.

Tune in every Monday over the next month for new installments of this special series of The Marc Steiner Show on TRNN.


Read the transcript of this podcast: https://therealnews.com/how-fear-of-white-replacement-drives-the-far-rights-darkest-tendencies


Pre-Production: Dwayne Gladden, Stephen Frank, Kayla Rivara, Maximillian Alvarez, Jocelyn Dombroski
Studio: Dwayne Gladden
Post-Production: Stephen Frank


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Mar 22, 2022
Cops thought no one would see this brutal arrest, then a video surfaced exposing the truth
1095
Another questionable arrest in a small town is raising more concerns about the state of policing in rural America. A man was repeatedly struck by police in Paducah, Texas, during an encounter that was caught on video and shared with PAR. We examine the arrest and discuss how it demonstrates the unchecked power of law enforcement in rural communities to inflict suffering on the people they're ostensibly serving and to extract a disproportionate share of public resources.
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Mar 18, 2022
We must organize for peace like our lives depend on it (because they do)
4922
The horrific war in Ukraine is now entering its third week after Russian troops launched a full-scale invasion on Feb. 24. As Ukrainians fight for their lives and the world teeters on the edge of global conflict, the disastrous ripple effects of the war can be felt throughout the world. What will it take to organize and mobilize an international movement for peace and de-escalation? As part of the Global Day of Action for Peace in Ukraine on March 6, 2022, RootsAction.org, the American Committee for US-Russia Accord, CodePink, Just Foreign Policy, World BEYOND War, and Progressive Democrats of America convened an urgent panel discussion to address this very question. With permission from the event organizers, The Real News is publishing this panel discussion for our audience.

Speakers include: Sevim Dağdelen, member of Germany’s federal parliament, where she serves on the Foreign Affairs Committee and as the spokesperson for International Policy and Disarmament for the Left Party (Die Linke); Bill Fletcher Jr., former president of TransAfrica Forum and a senior scholar with the Institute for Policy Studies; Katrina vanden Heuvel, editorial director and publisher of The Nation magazine, columnist for The Washington Post, and president of the American Committee for US-Russia Accord; Ann Wright, a peace activist and retired US army colonel who served as a diplomat in the State Department for 16 years before resigning in 2003 in protest of the US invasion of Iraq; Norman Solomon, executive director of RootsAction; Marcy Winograd, coordinator of CODE PINK CONGRESS and a long-time anti-war activist who served as a 2020 DNC delegate for Bernie Sanders and co-founded the Progressive Caucus of the California Democratic Party; and Alan Minsky, executive director of Progressive Democrats of America, a lifelong activist, and longtime progressive journalist. This discussion is moderated by Charles Lenchner, co-founder of People for Bernie and executive director of Organizing 2.0.

Post-Production: Cameron Granadino

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Mar 17, 2022
From pillar of progressivism to capital of conservatism, what the hell happened to Wisconsin?
6838
How did Wisconsin, once a bellwether of the progressive and labor movements, become the state that voted for Scott Walker and Donald Trump?

In this episode of Working People, we continue our series on the struggles of teachers and public sector unions in the state of Wisconsin today. As part of a special collaboration between The Real News Network and In These Times magazine for “The Wisconsin Idea,” TRNN Editor-in-Chief Maximillian Alvarez, Cameron Granadino (TRNN), and Hannah Faris (In These Times) traveled to Wisconsin in the summer of 2021. From Madison to Appleton, they spoke to a range of educators, organizers, scholars, and activists who are fighting to rebuild worker power after the devastating passage of Act 10 in 2011 under Republican Governor Scott Walker, and nearly 50 years after cops, townspeople, and a union-busting school board broke the infamous Hortonville teachers’ strike in 1974. In this interview, recorded in the town of Hortonville, Alvarez sits down with scholars Harvey J. Kaye and Jon Shelton to discuss the historical significance of Act 10, the Wisconsin Uprising, and the Hortonville strike that set the stage for them decades earlier, and to examine how these crucial events fit into the larger historical trajectory of the labor movement and progressive politics in Wisconsin.

Harvey J. Kaye is Professor Emeritus of Democracy & Justice Studies and the Director of the Center for History and Social Change at the University of Wisconsin, Green Bay; he is also the author of many books, including Thomas Paine and the Promise of America and Take Hold of Our History: Make America Radical Again. Jon Shelton is Associate Professor and Chair of Democracy and Justice studies at UW Green Bay, and he is the author of Teacher Strike! Public Education and the Making of a New American Political Order.


Pre-Production: Maximillian Alvarez, Hannah Faris, Alice Herman, Cameron Granadino, Eleni Schirmer (research consultant), John Fleissner (research consultant), John Yaggi (research consultant), Harvey J. Kaye (research consultant), Jon Shelton (research consultant), Adam Mertz (research consultant)

Studio: Cameron Granadino

Post-Production: Cameron Granadino, Stephen Frank, Kayla Rivara, Jules Taylor

The Wisconsin Idea is an independent reporting project of People’s Action Institute, Citizen Action of Wisconsin and In These Times.


Read the full description (including additional links/info) and the transcript of this podcast: https://therealnews.com/from-pillar-of-progressivism-to-capital-of-conservatism-what-the-hell-happened-to-wisconsin

Featured Music: Jules Taylor, "Working People Theme Song"


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Mar 17, 2022
20 years later, Guantánamo Bay is still a humanitarian horror
2281
In January of this year, on the twentieth anniversary of the opening of the notorious military prison at Guantánamo Bay on the eastern tip of Cuba, the United Nations’ top human rights office issued an excoriating report on "Gitmo" and its continued operations. “Guantánamo Bay is a site of unparalleled notoriety, defined by the systematic use of torture, and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment against hundreds of men brought to the site and deprived of their most fundamental rights,” the report stated. However, “Despite forceful, repeated and unequivocal condemnation of the operation of this horrific detention and prison complex with its associated trial processes, the United States continues to detain persons many of whom have never been charged with any crime.” TRNN correspondent David Kattenburg speaks about the continued horrors of Guantánamo Bay and the international fight to shut it down with Fionnuala Ni Aolain and Alka Pradhan.

Fionnuala Ni Aolain is the lead author of the recent UN report on Guantánamo Bay. She is the Special UN Rapporteur on counter-terrorism and human rights, University Regents Professor at the University of Minnesota, and faculty director of the Human Rights Center at the University of Minnesota School of Law. Alka Pradhan is Adjunct Professor of Law at the University of Pennsylvania. She is an expert on the application of human rights and humanitarian law in counterterrorism situations, and on the impact of torture on fair trials. Pradhan is currently Human Rights Counsel at Guantanamo Bay Military Commissions and has represented over a dozen of its detainees. She currently represents one of the defendants in the capital case United States v. Khalid Sheikh Mohammad.

Pre-Production: David Kattenburg
Studio/Post-Production: Cameron Granadino


Read the transcript of this podcast: https://therealnews.com/20-years-later-guantanamo-bay-is-still-a-humanitarian-horror


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Mar 15, 2022
Meet the progressive activists organizing Trump country
2271
Pennsylvania Stands Up's Onah Ossai explains the process of deep canvassing, an organizing tool that breaks through bigotry and disinformation by having compassionate conversations.

Read the full report from TRNN's Jaisal Noor on deep canvassing in Pennsylvania here:

This series was made possible with the support of the Solutions Journalism Network, a nonprofit organization dedicated to rigorous and compelling reporting about responses to social problems. See the full series here: https://therealnews.com/defending-democracy-in-the-2022-midterm-elections

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Mar 15, 2022
Art for the End Times: How Cold War-era Hollywood movies rotted our brains
3296
As the horrific Russian invasion of Ukraine continues and anti-Russian sentiments are boiling over, Americans have found themselves hearkening back to the moral and narrative frames that defined Cold War-era cinema to make sense of this moment and our role in it. From Red Dawn to Rocky IV, Hollywood depictions of the pitched battle between the scrappy, freedom-loving West and the cold, monstrous Other in the East made for great movie watching, but it also had curious and long-lasting effects on the American psyche.

In the latest installment of Art for the End Times, Lyta speaks with writer and media critic Adam Johnson about some of their favorite ‘80s Cold War-era action movies, how they shaped the ways we think, how they’re problematic, and how sometimes we like them anyway. Adam Johnson is the cohost of Citations Needed, “a podcast on the media, power, PR and the history of bullshit,” and author of The Column on Substack.

Pre-Production/Studio/Post-Production: Dwayne Gladden


Read the transcript of this podcast: https://therealnews.com/how-cold-war-era-hollywood-movies-rotted-our-brains


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Mar 15, 2022
Rise of the Right: Brownshirts and boardrooms
2559
The far right is not a monolithic project; it is, rather, a movement of movements that have grown out of the failures of capitalism as a social order and that are fueled by human society’s darkest tendencies (racism, misogyny, xenophobia, greed, domination, etc.). What are these different movements that make up what we call the far right today? What vision of social order are they fighting to impose? What does it mean for all of us that the heterogenous tendencies and motivations of the far right are converging into a powerful coalition that is willing to resort to political violence to achieve its collective ends? And how do we fight back?

In this special series of The Marc Steiner Show, co-hosted by Marc Steiner and Bill Fletcher Jr., we will examine the rise of the right in the US and beyond, we will explore the different tendencies and motivations fueling today’s surge in far-right politics, and we will engage with a range of critical voices who can help us understand how we got here and what we can do about it. In Episode One of “Rise of the Right,” Marc and Bill are joined by Tarso Ramos and Nancy MacLean to examine the Jan. 6 insurrection at the US Capitol not as a violent aberration, but as one manifestation among many of far-right forces that are converging into a broad, antidemocratic coalition and exerting power on the streets, in the courts and legislatures, and in corporate boardrooms.

Tarso Ramos is the executive director of Political Research Associates, and he’s been researching and challenging the US rightwing for more than 25 years. A renowned public speaker, commentator, and political strategist, his work has been featured in a range of outlets, including The Guardian, The New York Times, and Time Magazine. Nancy MacLean is the William H. Chafe Distinguished Professor of History and Public Policy at Duke University. She’s the award-winning author of numerous books, including Behind the Mask of Chivalry: The Making of the Second Ku Klux Klan, Freedom is Not Enough: The Opening of the American Workplace, and Democracy in Chains: The Deep History of the Radical Right’s Stealth Plan for America.

Tune in every Monday over the next month for new installments of this special series of The Marc Steiner Show on TRNN.

Pre-Production: Dwayne Gladden, Stephen Frank, Kayla Rivara, Maximillian Alvarez, Jocelyn Dombroski
Studio: Dwayne Gladden
Post-Production: Stephen Frank


Read the transcript of this podcast: https://therealnews.com/the-future-the-far-right-wants-should-scare-us-all


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Mar 14, 2022
Rise of the Right: The declining escalator
848
The election of Donald Trump and the insurrectionary violence at the US Capitol on Jan. 6 are a bad dream that many desperately want to forget. But the political, economic, and cultural forces driving far-right political movements in the US and around the world have been brewing for decades, and they are not going away—quite the opposite, in fact. We need to understand where these forces come from, how they have given rise to a wide variety of different far-right factions that are converging into a dangerous coalition, and what anti-democratic, authoritarian futures they are fighting to impose on society. We need to know what we’re up against—and, most importantly, we need to know how to fight it.

In this special series of The Marc Steiner Show, co-hosted by Marc Steiner and Bill Fletcher Jr., we will examine the rise of the right in the US and beyond, we will explore the different tendencies and motivations fueling today’s surge in far-right politics, and we will engage with a range of critical voices who can help us understand how we got here and what we can do about it. In Episode Zero of “Rise of the Right,” Marc and Bill introduce the series and establish the stakes of understanding and soberly addressing the threat today’s far right poses to what remains of democratic society.

Tune in every Monday over the next month for new installments of this special series of The Marc Steiner Show on TRNN.

Pre-Production: Dwayne Gladden, Stephen Frank, Kayla Rivara, Maximillian Alvarez, Jocelyn Dombroski
Studio: Dwayne Gladden
Post-Production: Stephen Frank


Read the transcript of this podcast: https://therealnews.com/we-are-seeing-the-rise-of-a-global-right-wing-force-decades-in-the-making


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Mar 14, 2022
“‘What is Ukraine?’ is a question only Ukrainians can answer”
1921
Russia’s war in Ukraine is part of a tectonic geopolitical realignment that the US in particular and the West in general are unable and unwilling to comprehend.

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Mar 11, 2022
Video caught a cop making an illegal arrest, but he was just getting started
1299
Prosecutors caught a Baltimore cop making an illegal arrest on body cam, prompting a lengthy investigation. Their findings lead to a major indictment, so will the police department release the rest of the evidence?

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Mar 11, 2022
Scott Walker tried to destroy Wisconsin’s unions, but these organizers are still fighting
4444
We're kicking off Season 5 of Working People with a multi-part series on teachers and public sector unions in the state of Wisconsin. As part of a special collaboration between The Real News Network and In These Times magazine for “The Wisconsin Idea,” Max, Cameron Granadino (TRNN), and Hannah Faris (In These Times) traveled to Wisconsin in the summer of 2021 to investigate two intertwining stories that have played a crucial role in the right-wing shift and the decades-long attack on workers and unions in a state that used to be a bellwether of the labor movement and progressive politics in America.

Over the course of this series, we'll be talking to teachers and organizers in Wisconsin to see how, nearly 50 years after the infamous Hortonville teachers strike and a decade after the passing of Act 10 under Republican governor Scott Walker, they are still fighting to recover and build worker power. In this interview, Max talks with Amanda and Jeff Frenkel, two K-12 teachers in Hortonville and union organizers with the American Federation of Teachers, about the challenges they and their coworkers are facing today, and about the ways they are working to rebuild the union and serve their community.

Pre-Production: Maximillian Alvarez, Hannah Faris, Alice Herman, Cameron Granadino, Eleni Schirmer (research consultant), John Fleissner (research consultant), John Yaggi (research consultant), Harvey J. Kaye (research consultant), Jon Shelton (research consultant), Adam Mertz (research consultant)

Studio: Cameron Granadino
Post-Production: Cameron Granadino, Stephen Frank, Kayla Rivara, Jules Taylor


Read the transcript and full description of this podcast: https://therealnews.com/scott-walker-tried-to-destroy-wisconsins-unions-but-these-small-town-organizers-are-still-fighting


Additional links/info below...

American Federation of Teachers—Wisconsin website, Facebook page, and Twitter page:
https://www.aft-wisconsin.org/
https://www.facebook.com/AFTWisconsin/
https://twitter.com/AFTWisconsin

Maximillian Alvarez, The Real News Network, "The Fight to Organize Teachers in Small-Town Wisconsin":
https://therealnews.com/the-fight-to-organize-teachers-in-small-town-wisconsin

Eleni Schirmer, Gender and Education, "When Solidarity Doesn't Quite Strike: The 1974 Hortonville, Wisconsin Teachers' Strike and the Rise of Neoliberalism":
https://www.academia.edu/26744754/_When_solidarity_doesnt_quite_strike_the_1974_Hortonville_Wisconsin_teachers_strike_and_the_rise_of_neoliberalism_Gender_and_Education’

In These Times investigative series: The Wisconsin Idea:
https://inthesetimes.com/thewisconsinidea

Featured Music (all songs sourced from the Free Music Archive at freemusicarchive.org):
Jules Taylor, "Working People Theme Song"

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Mar 09, 2022
Abby Martin: How the media manufactures ‘bloodlust’ for war
3200
From the moment Russian troops invaded Ukraine the entire corporate media apparatus in the US moved to 24-7 coverage, filling airwaves with talking heads relentlessly beating the drums of war. Combined with Big Tech’s sophisticated means for silencing and punishing dissenting voices, the increasingly hostile and propaganda-filled discourse that is taking shape today is eerily reminiscent of the “Russiagate” fervor and the cultural hysteria that permeated the post-9/11 years. TRNN Editor-in-Chief Maximillian Alvarez speaks with longtime journalist and activist Abby Martin about how the media’s manufactured “bloodlust” for war makes us all less safe and how we must use independent media to advance the cause of peace.

Abby Martin is an American journalist, show presenter, activist, and artist. She helped found the citizen journalism website Media Roots and is the host of the investigative documentary and interview series The Empire Files. Martin has been involved in numerous film projects, including producing the recent feature documentaries Gaza Fights for Freedom, and she is currently producing another feature entitled Earth’s Greatest Enemy.

Pre-Production: Maximillian Alvarez
Studio/Post-Production: Cameron Granadino


Read the transcript of this podcast: https://therealnews.com/abby-martin-how-the-media-manufactures-bloodlust-for-war


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Mar 08, 2022
‘Justice for Evan’: Supporters demand accountability from Kroger after 19-year employee allegedly bullied by management to suicide
3945
(Content Warning: bullying, harassment, suicide.)

In September 2021, TRNN Editor-in-Chief Maximillian Alvarez spoke with the family of Evan Seyfried about a lawsuit they filed against grocery giant Kroger, which alleges that Evan was bullied, harassed, and sabotaged by store managers Shannon Frazee and Joseph Pigg to the point that he suffered a “transient episodic break” and took his own life. It’s been one year since Evan committed suicide, and while the Seyfrieds struggle to pick up the pieces, family friends, community members, and volunteers have come together to honor Evan’s life, demand accountability for his death, and address the scourge of workplace bullying. In this interview, Alvarez speaks with Jana Murphy, an organizer of the Justice for Evan coalition and a close friend of the Seyfried family, about the fight to hold Kroger accountable and the national day of action planned for Wednesday, March 9.

If you or someone you care about has contemplated suicide, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 or text HOME to 741741 to reach the Crisis Text Line. Crisis counselors are available 24 hours a day. The International Association for Suicide Prevention also provides contact information for crisis centers around the world.

Pre-Production/Studio/Post-Production: Cameron Granadino


Read the transcript of this podcast: https://therealnews.com/justice-for-evan-supporters-demand-accountability-from-kroger-after-19-year-employee-allegedly-bullied-by-management-to-suicide


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Mar 08, 2022
Conservatives are changing their minds about the death penalty
1202
Conservatives in America have long argued that the death penalty is a necessary fixture of our legal and carceral system, both as a “crime deterrent” and as a means of serving justice. But more conservatives today are questioning the moral, fiscal, and practical justifications for this barbaric practice. TRNN Executive Producer Eddie Conway and Charles Hopkins, better known as Mansa Musa, speak with Demetrius Minor about the new generation of conservatives who are joining the fight to abolish the death penalty.

Demetrius Minor is the national manager of Conservatives Concerned about the Death Penalty and author of the book Preservation and Purpose: The Making of a Young Millennial, A Manifesto for Faith, Family and Politics. He is a preacher, advocate, relationship builder, and a writer working to educate and mobilize conservatives around the systematic flaws with the death penalty.

Read the transcript of this interview: https://therealnews.com/conservatives-are-changing-their-minds-about-the-death-penalty

Pre-Production/Studio/Post-Production: Cameron Granadino

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Mar 08, 2022
Chris Hedges: War profiteers are fueling this crisis
1695
“War destroys all systems that sustain and nurture life–familial, economic, cultural, political, environmental, and social,” Pulitzer-Prize winning journalist Chris Hedges writes. “Once war begins, no one, even those nominally in charge of waging war, can guess what will happen, how the war will develop, how it can drive armies and nations towards suicidal folly.” In this urgent, unscheduled segment of The Marc Steiner Show, Marc talks with Hedges about the path that led to the Russian invasion of Ukraine and about his firsthand experience with the horrific, inhumane reality of war.

Chris Hedges is the former Middle East bureau chief of The New York Times, a Pulitzer Prize winner, and a columnist at ScheerPost. He formerly hosted the program Days of Revolt, produced by TRNN, and is the author of several books, including America: The Farewell Tour, American Fascists: The Christian Right and the War on America, and War Is a Force That Gives Us Meaning.

Tune in for new episodes of The Marc Steiner Show every Monday and Thursday on TRNN.

Pre-Production/Studio/Post-Production: Dwayne Gladden


Read the transcript of this podcast: https://therealnews.com/chris-hedges-war-profiteers-are-fueling-this-crisis


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Mar 04, 2022
Cops want to turn cop watching into organized crime, but can they get away with it?
2030
Are Texas police laying the groundwork to thwart cop watchers by sending them to jail for simply using cellphone cameras to film them? This is the serious question raised by a series of charges that accuse a group of Texas cop watchers of engaging in organized crime. In this episode of the Police Accountability Report, hosts Taya Graham and Stephen Janis investigate the basis for the accusations and possible consequences for the First Amendment, YouTube activism, and the future of citizen auditing, and speak to one of the men facing decades in jail for filming police to understand just how far police will go to evade accountability.

Read the transcript of this episode: https://therealnews.com/cops-want-to-turn-cop-watching-into-organized-crime-but-can-they-get-away-with-it

Pre-Production: Stephen Janis
Studio/Post-Production: Stephen Janis, Dwayne Gladden

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Mar 04, 2022
From the Euromaidan Revolution to Russian invasion: How Ukraine was ripped apart
2866
From the fall of the Soviet Union in 1991 to the Euromaidan Revolution in 2013-14, to the full-scale Russian invasion of 2022, Ukraine has been perpetually caught in a battle for self-determination while outside forces vie over its future. As Sean Guillory succinctly put it in a recent episode of the SRB podcast sponsored by Center for Russian, East European & Eurasian Studies at the University of Pittsburgh, the story of this war in many ways depends on who’s telling it and when they begin that story. TRNN Editor-in-Chief Maximillian Alvarez speaks with Dr. William Risch about where that story begins and what onlookers need to understand about the political and geopolitical history that paved the way to the horrific war in Ukraine, including the fallout from post-Soviet deindustrialization, the Euromaidan Revolution, and the Russian annexation of Crimea.

Dr. Risch is a professor of history at Georgia College who spent four years living in Ukraine and teaches on the history and politics of modern Eastern Europe. He is the author of The Ukrainian West: Culture and the Fate of Empire in Soviet Lviv, and he is currently working on a new book entitled One Step from Madness: Power and Disillusionment in Ukraine's Euromaidan Revolution.

Pre-Production/Studio/Post-Production: Cameron Granadino

Read the transcript of this podcast: https://therealnews.com/from-the-euromaidan-revolution-to-russian-invasion-how-ukraine-was-ripped-apart

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Mar 03, 2022
NYC unions rally against exploitation of immigrant demolition workers
1957
With Laborers Local 79 leading the charge, union demolition workers, construction workers, carpenters, bricklayers, and more have rallied multiple times in the past month outside the Chelsea Terminal Warehouse in New York City to protest the mishandling of workers' pensions and the exploitation, union busting, wage theft, and hazardous conditions workers have experienced at the job site. As Dean Moses reports in The Villager, "Many of the Laborers are immigrant demolition workers, also called los demolicionsitas, and construction workers who say that they have been deprived of healthcare throughout the COVID-19 pandemic and continue to face intimidation and threats for trying to unionize Terminal Warehouse. Protesters named several culprits—three being New Line Structures, ECD NY and Alba Services—which, they alleged, have a history of wage theft and permitting hazardous working conditions.” TRNN Editor-in-Chief Maximillian Alvarez talks to Chaz Rynkiewicz, Vice President and Director of Organizing for Laborers Local 79, about the unjust firing of three demolicionsitas (also known as the “Alba3”) and the fight to protect union and non-union workers alike.

Pre-Production: Maximillian Alvarez

Studio/Post-Production: Jules Taylor

Read the transcript of this podcast: https://therealnews.com/nyc-unions-rally-against-exploitation-of-immigrant-demolition-workers

Additional links/info below...

Laborers Local 79 website, Facebook page, and Twitter page:
https://www.local79.org/
https://www.facebook.com/Laborers79/
https://twitter.com/local79nyc

Laborers Local 79 Twitter thread about the #Alba3:
https://twitter.com/local79nyc/status/1496872898128187406

Dean Moses, The Villager, "Hundreds of Union Employees Protest Alleged Exploitative Working Conditions at Chelsea Terminal Warehouse":
https://www.amny.com/news/hundreds-of-union-workers-protest-terminal-warehouses-exploitative-conditions/

Featured Music (all songs sourced from the Free Music Archive at freemusicarchive.org):
Jules Taylor, "Working People Theme Song"

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Mar 03, 2022
Russians against war in Ukraine need international help
2057
Since Vladimir Putin ordered Russian troops to invade Ukraine, thousands of people in Russia have risked their safety and freedom to engage in illegal public demonstrations to protest the war, many of whom have been arrested by Russian police for doing so. As Ilya Matveev and Ilya Budraitskis recently wrote for Jacobin, “While some signs of ‘rallying around the flag’ are inevitable, it is remarkable that despite complete control over major media sources and a dramatic outpouring of propagandistic demagoguery on TV, the Kremlin is unable to foment enthusiasm for war.” TRNN Editor-in-Chief Maximillian Alvarez speaks with Ilya Matveev from St. Petersburg about the state of anti-war sentiments and demonstrations within Russia, and about the need for the international left to oppose the war and show solidarity with the people of Ukraine.

Ilya Matveev is a researcher and lecturer based in St. Petersburg, Russia. He is the co-host of the podcast Политический дневник (Political Diary) with Ilya Budraitskis and is a member of the research group Public Sociology Laboratory.

Read the transcript of this interview: https://therealnews.com/russians-against-war-in-ukraine-need-international-help

Pre-Production/Studio/Post-Production: Cameron Granadino

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Mar 01, 2022
Stop trying to revive local economies with prisons
1582
Closing prisons and reducing the incarcerated population should be a good thing, but when local economies become dependent on the prison industry it creates many perverse incentives for keeping our inhumane system of mass incarceration going. Residents of Susanville, California, are experiencing this firsthand after the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation announced the impending deactivation of the California Correctional Center. In this episode of Rattling the Bars, Charles Hopkins, better known as Mansa Musa, is joined by Nicole D. Porter to discuss the prison closure in Susanville and how expanding the prison-industrial complex is neither a just nor viable method for reviving local economies.

Nicole D. Porter is the Senior Director of Advocacy at The Sentencing Project, managing state and local advocacy efforts on sentencing reform, voting rights, and eliminating racial disparities in the criminal justice system. Her advocacy has supported criminal justice reforms in several states including Kentucky, Missouri, and California. Porter was named a "New Civil Rights Leader" by Essence Magazine for her work to eliminate mass incarceration.

Read the transcript of this interview: https://therealnews.com/stop-trying-to-revive-local-economies-with-prisons

Pre-Production/Studio/Post-Production: Cameron Granadino

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Feb 28, 2022
Before Benjamin Smith, activists in Portland warned us about the far right’s deadly violence
1364
At a racial justice demonstration in Portland on Feb. 19, well-known and respected activist June Knightly was shot and killed by far-right vigilante Benjamin Smith, who also severely injured four other activists before an armed protester opened fire on Smith. Activists in Portland have long warned of the increasingly brazen and dangerous violence from far-right groups and individuals, and many fear that such violence will only increase and that the police will do little to stop it.

In this segment of The Marc Steiner Show, Marc welcomes back Portland-based author and organizer Shane Burley to discuss last week’s shooting in Portland and what it says about the state of rightwing extremism in the Pacific Northwest and beyond.
Shane Burley is the author of Why We Fight: Essays on Fascism, Resistance, and Surviving the Apocalypse and Fascism Today: What It Is and How to End It. His work has appeared in a range of outlets including NBC News, Jacobin, Al Jazeera, The Baffler, The Daily Beast, Truthout, In These Times, and Protean magazine

Tune in for new episodes of The Marc Steiner Show every Monday and Thursday on TRNN.

Read the transcript of this podcast:

Pre-Production/Studio: Dwayne Gladden
Post-Production: Stephen Frank, Dwayne Gladden

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Feb 28, 2022
Police abuse grows in small town USA—and we have evidence | Live Q&A
4780
A series of explosive investigative reports has revealed a crisis of police abuse in rural America. This week, Police Accountability Report hosts Taya Graham and Stephen Janis held a live discussion about police overreach and the consequences faced by rural communities across the country, and took questions from viewers about what their investigations have uncovered.

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Feb 28, 2022
‘The whole world order is being restructured right now’
1945
The fact that so many across the world did not believe that Vladimir Putin would order Russian troops to launch a full-scale invasion of Ukraine is a testament to the drastic rupture in the post-Cold War geopolitical arrangement that we are watching unfold in real time. For the people of Ukraine and the rest of the world, what will the immediate and long-term repercussions of this war be? TRNN contributor David Kattenburg speaks with Joseph Gerson about the path that led to the war in Ukraine and what the war will mean for the international security order in Europe and beyond.

Joseph Gerson is executive director of the Campaign for Peace, Disarmament and Common Security and vice president of the International Peace Bureau, a Nobel Peace Prize recipient organization. He is the author of numerous books, including Empire and the Bomb: How the US Uses Nuclear Weapons to Dominate the World and The Sun Never Sets…Confronting the Network of U.S. Foreign Military Bases.

Read the transcript of this podcast: https://therealnews.com/the-whole-world-order-is-being-restructured-right-now

Pre-Production: David Kattenburg
Studio/Post-Production: Cameron Granadino

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Feb 28, 2022
Jeremy Corbyn: 'The left needs to work on a much more global basis'
3159
From endless wars, militarism, and surges in rightwing “populism” to ceaseless capitalist pillage, neoliberal austerity, and botched international responses to COVID-19 and climate change, the events of recent decades should have galvanized the left much more than they have. Instead of representing and fighting for the interests of working people, however, traditional “left” political parties in the West have focused on appealing mainly to the socially liberal sections of the professional middle classes and managing economic decline. Something needs to change. TRNN contributor Radhika Desai speaks with Jeremy Corbyn about the evolution of the UK’s Labour Party in the era of neoliberalism, and about the need for the left to mobilize communities at the local level while building an international political vision.

Jeremy Corbyn has been a Member of Parliament (MP) representing the Islington North district since 1983, making him among the longest serving MPs in the British House of Commons. He served as Leader of the Labour Party and Leader of the Opposition from 2015 to 2020.

Pre-Production: Paul Graham
Studio/Post-Production: Dwayne Gladden

Read the transcript of this interview: https://therealnews.com/jeremy-corbyn-the-left-needs-to-work-on-a-much-more-global-basis

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Feb 24, 2022
Podcasting can still be a revolutionary tool—it depends on how we use it
8124
The number of podcasts has exploded in the past five years, and so much of the field is dominated by big names and platforms like Spotify and Liberty, but we shouldn’t give up on the medium’s revolutionary potential.

Late last year, TRNN Editor-in-Chief and Working People host Maximillian Alvarez had the honor of speaking to a class at Tulane University called "Introduction to Podcasting and Social Justice" taught by Dr. Billy Saas, co-host and producer of the podcast Money on the Left, as well as the co-founder and co-director of the Money on the Left Editorial Collective. The students in the class talked to him about how and why he started Working People, how the show has grown over the years, and they also had a deep conversation about the political importance of podcasting as a medium. Then, Alvarez recorded a follow-up conversation with Dr. Saas and two students from the class, Sophia Badame and Sophie Harris, about how the class evolved over the semester, the final projects they worked on, and how the next generation of podcasters are working to explore and expand the medium.

Pre-Production: Maximillian Alvarez
Studio/Post-Production: Jules Taylor

Read the transcript of this podcast: https://therealnews.com/podcasting-can-still-be-a-revolutionary-tool-it-depends-on-how-we-use-it

Additional links/info below...

Billy’s faculty page and Twitter page:
https://liberalarts.tulane.edu/departments/communication/people/william-saas
https://twitter.com/BillySaas

Money on the Left website, Facebook page, and Twitter page:
https://moneyontheleft.org/
https://www.facebook.com/moneyontheleft
https://twitter.com/moneyontheleft

Maximillian Alvarez, The Chronicle Review (The Chronicle of Higher Education), "The Podcast University (An Interview with Zachary Davis)":
https://www.chronicle.com/article/the-podcast-university/

Maximillian Alvarez, Current Affairs, "Can the Working Class Speak?":
https://www.currentaffairs.org/2018/12/can-the-working-class-speak

Forest Hunt, FAIR, “The New Podcast Oligopoly”:
https://fair.org/home/the-new-podcast-oligopoly/

Featured Music (all songs sourced from the Free Music Archive at freemusicarchive.org):
Jules Taylor, "Working People Theme Song"

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Feb 23, 2022
Yanis Varoufakis: We are living in a post-capitalist, techno-feudalist dystopia
3468
From the push to turn more of the workforce into precarious “gig workers” to the ways profit-seeking digital platforms condition how we act and think while extracting free data from us, we can see and feel everyday the creeping evidence that we are living in a new reality. As world-renowned Greek economist, author, and politician Yanis Varoufakis argues, “This is how capitalism ends: not with a revolutionary bang, but with an evolutionary whimper. Just as it displaced feudalism gradually, surreptitiously, until one day the bulk of human relations were market-based and feudalism was swept away, so capitalism today is being toppled by a new economic mode: techno-feudalism.”

In their latest interview for TRNN, co-hosts of THIS IS REVOLUTION Jason Myles and Pascal Robert speak with Varoufakis about how this “techno-feudalist” system emerged, what sets it apart from the global capitalist system that preceded it, and what it will mean for humanity if we don’t stop it. Yanis Varoufakis formerly served as the finance minister of Greece and is currently the secretary general of MeRA25, a left-wing political party in Greece that he founded in 2018. He is a professor of economics at the University of Athens and the author of numerous books, including The Global Minotaur: America, Europe and the Future of the Global Economy and Another Now: Dispatches from an Alternative Present.

Read the transcript of this podcast: https://therealnews.com/

Pre-Production/Studio: Jason Myles
Post-Production: Cameron Granadino

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Feb 22, 2022
Canada’s 'Freedom Convoy' reveals the far right’s strategy—and the left’s vital task—today
2090
For over a month, Canada has been rocked by a “Freedom Convoy” of demonstrators and vehicle blockades that ultimately converged on the capital city of Ottawa in protest of COVID-19 vaccine mandates and restrictions. Having garnered support from conservative media, some members of Canada’s parliament, and prominent online voices like Elon Musk and Jordan Peterson, the convoy quickly became a cultural and political flashpoint that revealed both how the far right is mobilizing and how the left needs to respond. In this segment of The Marc Steiner Show, Marc speaks with Canadian journalists Emily Leedham and Dru Oja Jay about their experience covering the convoy, the mix of organic and astroturfed grievances that were on display, and what the demonstrations say about the terrain of right-wing politics in Canada today.

Emily Leedham is the Prairies Reporter for PressProgress, an award-winning nonprofit news organization in Canada that focuses on holding the rich and powerful accountable, exposing unfair and unhealthy working conditions, and shining a light on hate and bigotry. She has been reporting on the “Freedom Convoy” for PressProgress and Jacobin. Dru Oja Jay is the publisher of The Breach, an independent Canadian media outlet producing critical journalism mapping a just, viable future. He was also the publisher of The Dominion paper and a co-founder of the Media Co-op. Along with Nikolas Barry-Shaw, he is the co-author of the book Paved with Good Intentions: Canada’s Development NGOs from Idealism to Imperialism.

Tune in for new episodes of The Marc Steiner Show every Monday and Thursday on TRNN.

Read the transcript of this podcast: https://therealnews.com/canadas-freedom-convoy-reveals-the-far-rights-strategy-and-the-lefts-vital-task-today

Pre-Production/Studio: Dwayne Gladden
Post-Production: Stephen Frank

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Feb 22, 2022
Art for the End Times: Save libraries, save the world
2910
It’s been said many times, many ways before: If our public library system didn’t already exist, there’s no way we could create it in today’s society. But for all the good libraries do, and for all the necessary services they provide, they have been under attack for many years—and the staff who make our library system work, as well as the people who depend on them, need help. As Emily Drabinski, who is running to be president of the American Library Association, argues in her campaign platform, “Decades of disinvestment in public institutions coupled with deep inequalities at the core of our profession have left our libraries without the resources necessary to advance our common mission of providing access to information in all its forms to everyone in our communities.”

In the latest installment of Art for the End Times, Lyta speaks with Drabinski about her campaign, the decades-long assault on libraries as a public good, and the internal struggle to make the library system a more just, equitable, and socially progressive institution. Emily Drabinski is an Associate Professor and Critical Pedagogy Librarian at the City University of New York (CUNY) Graduate Center library, where she is also serving as interim chief librarian.

Read the transcript of this podcast: https://therealnews.com/

Pre-Production/Studio/Post-Production: Dwayne Gladden

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Feb 22, 2022
Cops wanted to keep this disturbing video a secret. Now they're going after the person who leaked it
1681
Eric Lurry's death was a mystery to his family until a police whistleblower leaked damning evidence implicating the Joliet, Illinois, police department. Now Sgt. Javier Esqueda, who came forward with the video evidence, is facing a possible 20-year prison sentence for exposing his fellow police officers. In this episode of the Police Accountability Report, we examine the mechanics of a police coverup and the ramifications of holding police accountable, and ask Sgt. Esqueda what he witnessed that made him risk his career and his freedom by becoming a whistleblower.

Read the transcript of this podcast: https://therealnews.com/cops-wanted-to-keep-this-disturbing-video-a-secret-now-theyre-going-after-the-person-who-leaked-it

Pre-Production/Studio: Stephen Janis
Post-Production: Stephen Janis, Dwayne Gladden

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Feb 18, 2022
Hollywood studios are making billions off underpaid animators
4227
When the COVID-19 pandemic hit and live-action productions in the entertainment industry were put on pause, animated productions carried on, providing millions and millions around the world with entertainment, as they have for over a century, while life as we know it was turned upside down. Many of Hollywood’s most beloved, highest-grossing movies and series, in fact, are animated productions. But it may shock many to learn that the talented workers who make Hollywood animation happen have long struggled with gross pay inequity, limited opportunities for advancement, and fewer crediting and residual compensation guarantees than their live-action counterparts represented by the Writers Guild of America (WGA). This is why many in the industry are calling for a “New Deal for Animation” as The Animation Guild (TAG) returned to the bargaining table on Feb. 14 to continue working out a new contract with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers after talks stalled in December of last year.

In this interview, TRNN Editor-in-Chief Maximillian Alvarez speaks with David Shair, Rachael Cohen, and Joey Clift about the vital work Animation Guild members do, the glaring disparities in how they are treated and compensated in comparison to their live-action counterparts, and the fight for a “New Deal for Animation.” David Shair is a storyboard artist and writer with eleven years experience in the animation industry, working on such projects as Looney Tunes, Fish Hooks, and Spongebob Squarepants. He was part of the team that shaped the Storyboard Proposal in this year’s contract negotiations. Rachael Cohen is a cartoonist and color designer who worked in collaboration with the TAG Color Designer Committee to raise awareness about wage inequity and unfair working conditions for Color Designers. Joey Clift is a comedian, TV writer, and Animation Guild volunteer. He created the hashtag #PayAnimationWriters, which trended #1 on Twitter in the state of California leading up to negotiations.

Read the transcript of this podcast: https://therealnews.com/its-time-for-hollywood-animators-to-get-the-pay-and-respect-they-deserve

Pre-Production/Studio/Post-Production: Cameron Granadino

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Feb 16, 2022
Donor-serving establishment politics got us into this mess—it won’t get us out
1944
Matthew Hoh is a disabled Marine combat veteran, a senior fellow at the Center for International Policy, and a member of the Eisenhower Media Initiative whom we have interviewed numerous times before on The Marc Steiner Show. Now he is the North Carolina Green Party’s first-ever nominated candidate to run for the US Senate. “We keep witnessing, undeniably, the brutal reality of a changing world, and a threatened future, from a worsening economic reality for the majority of us, and from the climate crisis for all of us,” Hoh states in his campaign launch video. “This is made possible by a two party political arrangement of War and Wall Street beholden to corporate interests and a law making system of legalized bribery.”

In this segment of The Marc Steiner Show, Marc welcomes Hoh back on the show to discuss his campaign, why he’s running as a Green Party candidate, what opportunities and barriers that presents, and how the struggles for democracy and for economic and social justice depend on breaking the stranglehold the two major parties have on our political system.
Tune in for new episodes of The Marc Steiner Show every Monday and Thursday on TRNN.

Read the transcript of this podcast: https://therealnews.com/

Pre-Production/Studio: Dwayne Gladden
Post-Production: Stephen Frank

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Feb 14, 2022
'It is torture': Women in Maryland’s prisons have nowhere to turn
1934
Pre-release and minimum security facilities connect incarcerated individuals to essential resources for re-entering society and to opportunities for work release, special leave, compassionate leave, and family leave. In the state of Maryland, there are nine separate pre-release and minimum security facilities for men; for women, there are zero. “At the Maryland Correctional Institution for Women (MCI-W) in Jessup, Maryland,” as noted by the grassroots nonprofit Out for Justice, “as many as 1 in 10 women have achieved pre-release status. However, as many as 30% of the women on pre-release status have not been assigned to a work opportunity.”

In this episode of Rattling the Bars, Eddie Conway and Charles Hopkins (Mansa Musa) speak with Nicole Hanson-Mundell, executive director of Out For Justice, about the Maryland Gender-Responsive Prerelease Act and the fight to add the construction of a standalone, community-based prerelease facility for women to the Department of Public and Correctional Service budget during their hearing on Feb. 17, 2022.

Read the transcript of this interview: https://therealnews.com/it-is-torture-women-in-marylands-prisons-have-nowhere-to-turn

Pre-Production/Studio/Post-Production: Cameron Granadino

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Feb 14, 2022
There’s still time for the US to avoid a catastrophic war with Russia in Ukraine
4440
The White House claimed on Friday, Feb. 11 that attacks on Ukraine by Russian troops may be imminent, though Russian officials have denied these claims and denounced them as “dangerous lies.” Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky, meanwhile, has beseeched the US and NATO powers to not cause panic and further inflame tensions with Russia. With every passing hour, the world watches with trepidation as preparations for military conflict in Ukraine are made and Western media outlets loudly beat the drums of war. But it is not too late to avoid needless bloodshed—there is still time to avoid a catastrophic war with Russia in Ukraine.

More than 100 national and regional US organizations released a joint statement on Feb. 1 urging President Biden “to end the US role in escalating the extremely dangerous tensions with Russia over Ukraine.” Following the release of that statement, RootsAction.org and Code Pink cosponsored a news conference on Feb. 2, during which speakers examined the crisis in Ukraine and forcefully articulated the need for the US to commit to diplomatic means for de-escalating the threat of war. With permission from the event organizers, The Real News Network is publishing the video of this news conference for our audience.

Speakers include: Norman Solomon, national director of RootsAction.org; Medea Benjamin, co-founder of Code Pink; Jack F. Matlock Jr., former US Ambassador to Moscow; Katrina vanden Heuvel, editorial director for The Nation and president of the American Committee for US-Russia Accord; Martin Fleck, program director for the Nuclear Weapons Abolition Program, speaking as a representative for Physicians for Social Responsibility.

Read the transcript of this podcast: https://therealnews.com/theres-still-time-for-the-us-to-avoid-a-catastrophic-war-with-russia-in-ukraine

Post-Production: Cameron Granadino

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Feb 12, 2022
Cops in this town keep making ridiculous arrests. What are they trying to cover up?
1567
When a small town police department came under fire for a series of questionable arrests, PAR dug deeper into the finances of Milton, West Virginia. What we uncovered reveals how economic inequality fuels bad policing, and how prioritization of law enforcement over other communal needs is often at the root of bad public policy.

Read the transcript of this podcast: https://therealnews.com/cops-in-this-town-keep-making-ridiculous-arrests-what-are-they-trying-to-cover-up

Pre-Production: Stephen Janis
Studio/Post-Production: Stephen Janis, Dwayne Gladden

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Feb 12, 2022
Amy's Kitchen workers speak up about workplace injuries, mistreatment, and union busting
1424
Few frozen food brands are as well known in the United States as Amy’s Kitchen, a privately owned, California-based company that makes organic, vegetarian meals that can be found in most frozen-food aisles. Amy’s Kitchen has also long been reputed for, and markets itself as, a socially conscientious manufacturer and employer.

Some workers at Amy’s Kitchen, however, tell a different story. As Joshua Bote recently reported for SFGate, “Workers at the Amy’s Kitchen factory in Santa Rosa have filed a complaint with the California Division of Occupational Safety and Health, with allegations that have put the beloved Bay Area food brand’s feel-good credo to ‘share in the love’ into question. The Cal/OSHA complaint, filed Jan. 20, follows an NBC News investigation in which Amy’s workers at the Santa Rosa plant allege unrelenting managers, poor working conditions and demanding production mandates.”

In this interview, TRNN Editor-in-Chief Maximillian Alvarez speaks with Carmen Angiano and MariCruz Meza, two workers at the Santa Rosa plant, about working conditions at the plant and how management has responded to workers’ attempt to organize. Carmen Angiano is an 18-year Amy's Kitchen worker who was injured at work; she has family members working at the same plant and is tired of being mistreated and of lies coming from the company. MariCruz Meza has worked at Amy's Kitchen for eight years. She has endured several incidents when the company health insurance wouldn’t pay her family's medical bills and has even been sent collections.

Read the transcript of this podcast: https://therealnews.com/amys-kitchen-workers-speak-up-about-workplace-injuries-mistreatment-and-union-busting

Pre-Production/Studio/Post-Production: Cameron Granadino

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Feb 10, 2022
Art for the End Times: Moral panic at the disco! Comic books in the end times
5179
Art Spiegelman’s Pulitzer prize-winning Maus was recently banned from a Tennessee county’s classrooms. The McMinn County School Board’s decision to remove Spiegelman’s graphic novel about the Holocaust from its curriculum has caused a national outcry, but this is by no means the first time that comic books have been accused of being dangerous for young people. In this episode of Art for the End Times, Lyta is joined by Sam Thielman—a journalist and an expert on the comics industry—to talk about comics as a medium, the anti-comics hysteria of the 1950s, the subversive world of alternative comics, and why we ended up with so many superheroes.

Sam Thielman is a reporter and critic based in New York. He is the editor of Forever Wars and co-creator of Young Adult Movie Ministry, a podcast about Christianity and movies, and his writing has been featured in The Columbia Journalism Review, The Guardian, Talking Points Memo, NBC News, and Variety. In 2017 he was a political consultant for Comedy Central's The President Show.
Pre-Production/Studio/Post-Production: Dwayne Gladden

Read the transcript of this podcast:

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Feb 08, 2022
Revolt against the carceral world
5993
With 2.1 million incarcerated people, the United States has the largest prison population in the world. But America’s prison system is part of a larger social apparatus that predominantly targets, criminalizes, and polices poor people and people of color. As the monstrous reach of our carceral system extends further into our daily lives, so too have forms of resistance grown in communities around the country and beyond. At this moment in history, what creative possibilities exist for revolting against these institutionalized forms of capture, policing, and criminalization?

In 2021, TRNN Executive Producer and host of Rattling the Bars Eddie Conway joined a blockbuster panel of scholars and activists for the American Studies Association (ASA) to discuss these very questions. In this episode of Rattling the Bars, with permission from the ASA and the panel participants, we are publishing the video recording of this panel, which is entitled “Revolt Against the Carceral World” and is hosted by Professor Dylan Rodríguez.

Dylan Rodríguez (host) is Professor in the Department of Media and Cultural Studies at the University of California, Riverside. He was named to the inaugural class of Freedom Scholars in 2020 and is President of the American Studies Association (2020-2021). Rodríguez is a founding member of the Critical Ethnic Studies Association and Critical Resistance, a national carceral abolitionist organization, and he is the author of three books.

See the transcript and full episode details: https://therealnews.com/revolt-against-the-carceral-world

Pre-Production/Studio/Post-Production: Cameron Granadino

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Feb 07, 2022
In the US and beyond, Christian nationalism is on the rise
1708
“Christian nationalism has influenced the course of American politics and policy since the founding of this country, while, in every era, moral movements have had to fight for the Bible and the terrain that goes with it,” Rev. Dr. Liz Theoharis recently wrote in The Nation. “The January 6 assault on the Capitol, while only the latest expression of such old battlelines, demonstrated the threat of a modern form of Christian nationalism that has carefully built political power in government, the media, the academy, and the military over the past half-century. Today, the social forces committed to it are growing bolder and increasingly able to win mainstream support.”

In this segment of The Marc Steiner Show, Marc welcomes Rev. Dr. Liz Theoharis back to discuss the growing and dangerous influence of Christian nationalism in the US and around the globe—and how to fight it. Rev. Dr. Liz Theoharis is co-director of the Kairos Center, as well as a founder and coordinator of the Poverty Initiative. She is co-chair of the Poor People’s Campaign: A National Call For Moral Revival, and author of Always with Us?: What Jesus Really Said about the Poor. She is also an ordained minister in the Presbyterian Church (USA) and a biblical scholar in New Testament and Christian origins.

Read the transcript of this podcast: https://therealnews.com/in-the-us-and-beyond-christian-nationalism-is-on-the-rise

Tune in for new episodes of The Marc Steiner Show every Monday and Thursday on TRNN.

Pre-Production/Studio: Dwayne Gladden
Post-Production: Stephen Frank

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Feb 07, 2022
A cop charged a man with multiple crimes, but the video tells a different story
1761
A small-town police department in Milton, West Virginia, is facing more scrutiny after another troubling video surfaced of a questionable arrest. The newly obtained video contradicts the sworn statement of a Milton police officer who said the man who was arrested resisted arrest and tried to escape. PAR investigates the case and delves deeper into the finances of the town, which has nearly doubled its collections of court fines and fees over the past decade.

Read the transcript of this podcast: https://therealnews.com/west-virginia-cop-charged-a-man-with-multiple-crimes-but-the-video-tells-a-different-story

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Feb 04, 2022
Court blocks railroad workers from striking over draconian attendance policy
2751
A crucial labor battle is currently unfolding between railroad workers and BNSF Railway, the largest freight railroad network in North America. Earlier in January, the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen (BLET) and the Transportation Division of the International Association of Sheet Metal, Air, Rail, and Transportation Workers (SMART-TD), which together represent roughly 17,000 railroad workers, initiated steps to prepare for a strike that would have begun on the Feb. 1. This would comprise the largest railway strike in recent memory, and the unions have cited as the main point of contention a new BNSF scheduling and availability policy that workers say will separate them from their families and make it next to impossible to live and reasonably plan their lives. BLET National President Dennis Pierce and SMART-TD President Jeremy Ferguson called BNSF’s so-called “Hi-Viz” policy “the worst and most egregious attendance policy ever adopted by any rail carrier.”

However, on Tuesday, Jan. 25, a US District Court judge granted BNSF a temporary restraining order blocking the two unions from striking, saying that a strike would cause the rail company “substantial, immediate and irreparable harm.” In this interview, TRNN Editor-in-Chief Maximillian Alvarez speaks with retired railroad worker and union leader Jeff Kurtz about BNSF’s “Hi-Viz” policy and why workers in the railroad industry are prepared to strike.

Jeff Kurtz was a railway engineer and union member for 40 years. He served as a union officer most of his career, including eight years as president of BLET Local 391 and chairman of the BLET Iowa State Legislative Board, where he oversaw safety and legislative matters for the union in the state for four railroads for 10 years. He retired in 2014 and served as state representative for one term in the Iowa House after winning the 2018 election in his House district. He now works in a volunteer capacity with Railroad Workers United and the local labor chapter of the Iowa Federation of Labor.

Read the transcript of this interview: https://therealnews.com/court-blocks-railroad-workers-from-striking-over-draconian-attendance-policy

Pre-Production/Studio/Post-Production: Cameron Granadino


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Feb 01, 2022
We can’t abandon our children to a world without a future
1570
“On December 31, 2020, Tommy Raskin, the only son of Maryland Congressman Jamie Raskin, tragically took his own life after a long struggle with depression. Seven days later on January 6, Congressman Raskin returned to Congress to help certify the 2020 Presidential election results, when violent insurrectionists led by right wing extremist groups stormed the US Capitol hoping to hand four more years of power to President Donald Trump.” This is the opening description for Congressman Jamie Raskin’s new book, Unthinkable: Trauma, Truth, and the Trials of American Democracy.

In this segment of The Marc Steiner Show, Marc welcomes Congressman Raskin back on the show for a thoughtful and heartfelt discussion about Raskin’s new book, his son Tommy, the Jan. 6 insurrection, and the fight to leave our children a world worth living in. Congressman Jamie Raskin has served as the US representative for Maryland's 8th congressional district since 2017.
Tune in for new episodes of The Marc Steiner Show every Monday and Thursday on TRNN.

Read the transcript of this podcast:

Pre-Production/Studio: Dwayne Gladden
Post-Production: Stephen Frank

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Jan 31, 2022
An Arkansas jail tested ivermectin ‘treatment’ on detainees without their consent
1071
The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) has filed a federal lawsuit against the Washington County Detention Center in Arkansas on behalf of inmates who say the jail’s medical staff, led by Dr. Robert Karas, prescribed and gave them ivermectin to treat COVID-19 without telling them what the drug actually was. (Ivermectin is an anti-parasitic drug that the Food and Drug Administration, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the American Pharmacists Association, the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists, and others have repeatedly stated should not be used as a treatment for COVID-19.) As Edrick Floreal-Wooten, one of the inmates at Washington County Detention Center and a plaintiff in the federal lawsuit, recently told CBS News, "They said they were vitamins, steroids and antibiotics. We were running fevers, throwing up, diarrhea ... and so we figured that they were here to help us. ... We never knew that they were running experiments on us, giving us ivermectin. We never knew that."

In this episode of Rattling the Bars, Charles Hopkins, better known as Mansa Musa, speaks about these revelations and the impending federal lawsuit with Gary Sullivan, legal director for the ACLU of Arkansas, and Zachary Crow, director of decARcerate, a grassroots coalition working to end mass incarceration in Arkansas with and on behalf of prisoners and their families.

Read the transcript of this podcast: https://therealnews.com/an-arkansas-jail-tested-ivermectin-treatment-on-detainees-without-their-consent

Pre-Production/Studio/Post-Production: Cameron Granadino


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Jan 31, 2022
The US and Russia may bluff their way into a war neither is prepared for
3987
As tensions between Russia and Ukraine threaten to boil over into a proxy war between Russia and US-led NATO powers, the war drums are once again beating from all corners of the military-industrial complex. With Russia, Ukraine, and the US all embroiled in their own respective bouts of domestic political and economic turmoil, and with all jockeying for position on a rapidly changing geopolitical stage, diplomatic saber-rattling may be a temporarily expedient way to boost support for each country’s ruling political establishment. However, whether they are strategic bluffs or not, there is a very real danger that these escalating threats could have irreversible consequences, including a full-fledged war that none of the parties involved truly want and that none are truly prepared for.

In this urgent interview, TRNN contributor Radhika Desai speaks to Dr. Oleg Barabanov and Dr. Boris Kagarlitsky about the current crises in Russia and Ukraine, the history of NATO expansion since the fall of the Soviet Union, and the possibility of bluffing our way to a major war. Dr. Oleg Barabanov is program director of the Valdai International Discussion Club, the academic director of the European Studies Institute at Moscow State Institute of International Relations, and a professor at the Russian Academy of Sciences. Previously he was a senior research fellow at the Russian Institute for Strategic Studies. Dr Boris Kagarlitsky is a world-renowned leftist writer, historian, sociologist, and political activist. A dissident and political prisoner in the USSR under Brezhnev, then a deputy to Moscow city council (arrested again in 1993 under Yeltsin), he has run the Institute for Globalization Studies and Social Movements in Moscow, a leading Russian leftist think tank. He is also the editor of the online magazine Rabkor and the author of numerous books, including Empire of the Periphery: Russia and the World System and Russia Under Yeltsin and Putin: Neo-Liberal Autocracy.

Pre-Production: Paul Graham
Studio/Post-Production: Cameron Granadino

Read the transcript of this interview: https://therealnews.com/the-us-and-russia-may-bluff-their-way-into-a-war-neither-is-prepared-for


“Russia moves troops and US sends weapons as fear of war mounts in Ukraine” - The Washington Post (Jan. 25, 2022): https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/2022/01/25/ukraine-russia-nato-biden/

“Russia's reaction to US and NATO leaves Ukraine crisis to fester on the brink of war” - CBS News (Jan. 28, 2022): https://www.cbsnews.com/news/russia-reaction-united-states-nato-ukraine-crisis-war/

“The US must prepare for war against Russia over Ukraine” - Defense One (Jan. 11, 2022): https://www.defenseone.com/ideas/2022/01/us-must-prepare-war-against-russia-over-ukraine/360639/

“Top weapons companies boast Ukraine-Russia tensions are a boon for business” - In These Times (Jan. 27, 2022): https://inthesetimes.com/article/ukraine-russia-raytheon-lockheed-martin-general-dynamics-weapons-industry


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Jan 28, 2022
Cops broke into his home without showing a warrant, but what happened next is even worse
1464
Coty Cecil was awaiting repairs on his RV in a West Virginia campground when Milton police started breaking into his home, refusing to show a warrant. Cecil was eventually charged with possession with intent to distribute and transporting drugs over state lines, even though the half-dozen pot plants found in his RV were grown in his home state of Michigan—where they are legal. While looking into the dubious circumstances of Cecil’s arrest, PAR investigated the finances of the small rural community and uncovered some intriguing details about the role policing plays as a revenue engine for the town.

Read the transcript of this podcast: https://therealnews.com/cops-broke-into-his-home-without-showing-a-warrant-but-what-happened-next-is-even-worse

Pre-Production/Studio: Stephen Janis
Post Production: Stephen Janis, Dwayne Gladden

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Jan 28, 2022
The frenetic politics of COVID-19 in Europe
1945
From anti-lockdown protests and overburdened healthcare systems to mass labor actions and viral disinformation, from global vaccine apartheid to anti-vaccination movements, politics in the age of COVID-19 has been a frenetic mess that’s brought out the best and worst of our societies. While much attention has been focused on the frenzied divides characterizing US politics over the course of the pandemic, the political scene in Europe also demonstrates how COVID-19 has dramatically exacerbated critical tensions between social factions and their competing definitions of freedom and social responsibility. Is this all unprecedented, or are we seeing the kind of politics that have historically emerged during past pandemics? And where is this all headed?

In this interview, TRNN contributor David Kattenburg sits down with Frits Rosendaal and Pawel Zerka to discuss how COVID-19 and the governmental responses to it have shaped the political terrain in Europe. Frits Rosendaal is professor of Clinical Epidemiology and chairman of the department of Clinical Epidemiology at Leiden University in the Netherlands, where he researches the causes of cardiovascular disease. In 2003 he received the Spinoza prize, the highest scientific award in the Netherlands, and he is an elected fellow of the Royal Academy of Science and Arts, as well as of the German Academy Leopoldina. Pawel Zerka is a policy fellow at the European Council on Foreign Relations, where he contributes to the Re:shape Global Europe project, which seeks to develop new strategies for Europeans to understand and engage with the changing international order. He holds a PhD in economics and a master’s degree in international relations from the Warsaw School of Economics.

Pre-Production: David Kattenburg
Studio/Post Production: Cameron Granadino

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Jan 26, 2022
Chris Hedges: Mass politics must be rooted in class struggle
4328
From the social upheaval embodied in Donald Trump’s presidency and the 2020 uprisings for racial justice to rampant corporate plunder and increasingly widespread labor unrest, the conditions for an organized mass political movement exist in the US. So, why hasn’t that movement come about yet? Is such a movement possible in the US today? If so, what role can the left play in mobilizing it?

As world-renowned journalist and activist Chris Hedges argues, “Part of the problem with the left [today] is that it’s too engaged in political theater, it’s not engaged enough in political organizing, and it often is not literate in the most important element before us, which is class.” In their latest interview for TRNN, co-hosts of THIS IS REVOLUTION Jason Myles and Pascal Robert speak with Hedges about the possibility of mass politics in our present moment, and about the hard work of building working-class solidarity. Chris Hedges is the former Middle East bureau chief of the New York Times, a Pulitzer Prize winner, and a columnist at ScheerPost. He formerly hosted the program Days of Revolt, produced by TRNN, and is the author of several books, including America: The Farewell Tour, American Fascists: The Christian Right and the War on America, and War Is a Force That Gives Us Meaning.

Read the transcript of this interview: https://therealnews.com/chris-hedges-mass-politics-must-be-rooted-in-class-struggle

Pre-Production/Studio: Jason Myles
Post-Production: Cameron Granadino

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Jan 25, 2022
Art for the End Times: Fiction in the time of climate chaos
4457
The giant wave is coming, folks—but not on the big screen. In this all-climate art panel episode of Art for the End Times, Lyta sits down with journalists and podcasters Mary Annaïse Heglar and Amy Westervelt, as well as climate fiction writer Sim Kern, to discuss the climate change allegory blockbuster Don’t Look Up, the relative lack of compelling climate stories in movies and books today, and what we’d like to see art become in an era of impending planetary collapse. We also ask the blunt question: Is “climate fiction” a meaningful artistic category, or is it just brutal realism at this point?

Mary Annaïse Heglar is an accomplished climate justice essayist whose work has been integral to getting the climate movement to understand climate change as a justice issue that intersects with every other justice issue. She is the co-host and co-creator of the Hot Take newsletter and podcast, and her work has been featured in a range of outlets, including Rolling Stone, The New Republic, and The Boston Globe. Amy Westervelt is an award-winning investigative journalist who has contributed to The Washington Post, The New York Times, The Guardian, NPR, and many other outlets. She is the co-host and co-creator of the Hot Take newsletter and podcast, the founder of the Critical Frequency podcast network (named AdWeek's 2019 Podcast Network of the Year), and author of the book Forget ‘Having It All’: How America Messed Up Motherhood, and How to Fix It. Sim Kern is an environmental journalist and speculative fiction writer, exploring intersections of climate change, queerness, and social justice. Their quiet horror novella DEPART, DEPART! debuted from Stelliform Press in 2020, and their writing has been featured in a range of outlets, including Salon, The Independent, and Out Magazine.

Read the transcript of this podcast: https://therealnews.com/fiction-in-the-time-of-climate-chaos

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Pre-Production/Studio/Post Production: Dwayne Gladden
Jan 25, 2022
A global wealth tax is the least we can do to curb runaway wealth concentration
1592
The concentration of wealth in the hands of a select few has become a global problem that poses a threat to the basic functioning of our societies. According to a landmark new analysis by the Institute for Policy Studies, Oxfam, the Fight Inequality Alliance, and Patriotic Millionaires, “A wealth tax of 2% on the world’s millionaires, 3% on those with wealth above $50 million and 5% on the world’s billionaires would raise $2.52 trillion dollars annually. This would be enough to lift 2.3 billion people out of poverty, make enough vaccines for the whole world, and deliver universal health care and social protection for all the citizens of low and lower middle-income countries (3.6 billion people).”

In this segment of The Marc Steiner Show, Marc discusses the extent of global wealth concentration and the far-reaching implications of instituting a global wealth tax with Chuck Collins, one of the co-authors of the report. Chuck Collins is the director of the Program on Inequality and the Common Good at the Institute for Policy Studies, where he co-edits the IPS website Inequality.org. He is also the author of Born on Third Base: A One Percenter Makes the Case for Tackling Inequality, Bringing Wealth Home, and Committing to the Common Good.

Tune in for new episodes of The Marc Steiner Show every Monday and Thursday on TRNN.

Pre-Production/Studio: Dwayne Gladden
Post Production: Stephen Frank
Jan 24, 2022
Police say homicide detective Sean Suiter committed suicide, so why doesn't anyone believe them?
1698
A recent HBO documentary entitled The Slow Hustle has brought renewed attention to the mysterious death of Baltimore homicide detective Sean Suiter in 2017. Police initially claimed Suiter was the victim of a lone assailant after his body was found in a West Baltimore alley with a gunshot wound to the head. But as details began to emerge regarding Suiter's involvement with some of Baltimore's most corrupt cops, the case took a turn that raised serious questions about what actually happened and if his death was part of a broader cover-up.

Shortly after Suiter died, Police Accountability Report hosts Taya Graham and Stephen Janis produced a podcast series that looked behind the scenes and examined how Suiter's death told a more complex story about police corruption in Baltimore. In Part III of this podcast series, Graham and Janis explore the bombshell revelation that Suiter’s mysterious death occurred one day before he was supposed to testify in a major corruption investigation regarding the Baltimore Police Department’s infamous Gun Trace Task Force.

Read the transcript of this podcast: https://therealnews.com/police-say-homicide-detective-sean-suiter-committed-suicide-so-why-doesnt-anyone-believe-them

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Jan 24, 2022
Cops arrested him for filming a traffic stop, then the case went to court...
1688
The efforts of cop watchers and First Amendment auditors to record police continues to be a controversial subject. Some use aggressive tactics that critics say go too far, others argue the country's law-enforcement-industrial complex needs to be aggressively challenged to yield results. PAR examines the contours of this debate through the case of Denver cop watcher DJ Kdot the party. Dj Kdot was arrested by police in Aurora, Colorado, for allegedly interfering with an investigation while filming a traffic stop. What happened when the case went to trial reveals much about the state of cop watching today, the extent of our First Amendment protections, and the expansive reach of the US criminal justice system.

Read the transcript of this interview: https://therealnews.com/cops-arrested-him-for-filming-a-traffic-stop-then-the-case-went-to-court

Pre-Production/Studio: Stephen Janis
Post-Production: Stephen Janis, Dwayne Gladden

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Jan 21, 2022
Just desserts: Striking bakery workers in CA demand respect
1313
Since Nov. 3, workers represented by the Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco Workers and Grain Millers' International Union (BCTGM) Local 37 have been on strike against Rich Products at the Jon Donaire Desserts plant in Santa Fe Springs, California. Working in perpetually cold and wet conditions, these workers make ice cream cakes for household-name stores like Baskin-Robbins, Cold Stone Creamery, Walmart, Costco, Ralph’s, Vons, Smart & Final, and Safeway.

As Cristina Lujan, a worker at the Santa Fe Springs plant and BCTGM Local 37 member, recently told Forbes: "We are on strike because we’re fighting for higher wages, affordable health care and to be treated with respect and dignity." In this interview, TRNN Editor-in-Chief Maximillian Alvarez speaks with Lujan about the current state of the strike and what brought workers to the picket line in the first place.

Read the transcript of this interview: https://therealnews.com/just-desserts-striking-bakery-workers-in-ca-demand-respect

Pre-Production/Studio/Post Production: Dwayne Gladden

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Jan 21, 2022
UN declares healthy environment a human right—now what?
1879
This past fall, the United Nations Human Rights Council declared a clean, healthy, and sustainable environment to be a human right. (The US does not currently have a seat on the Council, and China, India, Japan and the Russian Federation all abstained from the vote.) Moreover, through a second Council resolution, the post of Special Rapporteur was created to promote human rights in the context of climate change. While hailed as groundbreaking by numerous environmental advocates, what concrete results can we expect from these resolutions? With the world running out of time to curb the effects of extreme climate change, can the United Nations’ assertion of humanity’s right to a healthy environment and stable climate push the world’s nations to take serious action?

In this interview, TRNN contributor David Kattenburg examines these UN resolutions and what they do and don’t mean for humanity’s fight against climate catastrophe with Todd Howland and Saher Rashid Baig. Todd Howland, who helped draft the two UN resolutions, is chief of the Development, Economic and Social Issues Branch of the United Nations’ Human Rights Office. Saher Rashid Baig is a youth, environmental, and human rights advocate based in Karachi, Pakistan, who is engaged with the Climate Change Virtual Conference of Youth and with YOUNGO, a global network of young activists seeking to empower youth voices in shaping global climate policies.

Read the transcript of this interview: https://therealnews.com/un-declares-healthy-environment-a-human-right-now-what

Pre-Production: David Kattenburg
Studio/Post Production: Cameron Granadino

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Jan 18, 2022
The US military is poisoning the water in O'ahu
1520
As Director for the Sierra Club of Hawai’i Wayne Tanaka recently wrote in The Guardian, the US Navy’s Red Hill Fuel Storage Facility is “a massive underground ‘farm’ of 18 million-liter fuel tanks and pipes just 100 feet above metropolitan O’ahu. Its construction began before the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor. Since then, it has leaked over 180,000 gallons of petroleum into the groundwater aquifer that provides drinking water for over 400,000 residents and visitors from Hālawa to Hawaiʻi Kai.”

Regardless of the major threat the facility poses to the local water system and demands from Native Hawaiians and supporters to address the crisis and hold the US military accountable, it wasn’t until hundreds of military families living near Pearl Harbor reported symptoms of petroleum poisoning that Red Hill’s operations were paused in late November. But the root causes of the environmental and public health crisis remain untouched, and the fight to shut down Red Hill is still very much ongoing.

In this segment of The Marc Steiner Show, Marc speaks about that fight with Mikey Inouye, an independent filmmaker born and raised in Hawai‘i, community organizer, and member of O‘ahu Water Protectors. The O‘ahu Water Protectors is an organization that formed out of a coalition of Kānaka Maoli organizers, Sierra Club members and supporters, Hawai‘i Peace and Justice, and other groups working toward sovereignty, decolonization, and demilitarization.

Read the transcript of this interview:

Tune in for new episodes of The Marc Steiner Show every Monday and Thursday on TRNN.

Pre-Production/Studio: Dwayne Gladden
Post Production: Stephen Frank

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Jan 17, 2022
The missing evidence that makes Baltimore detective Sean Suiter’s death even more mysterious
1059
A recent HBO documentary entitled The Slow Hustle has brought renewed attention to the mysterious death of Baltimore homicide detective Sean Suiter in 2017. Police initially claimed Suiter was the victim of a lone assailant after his body was found in a West Baltimore alley with a gunshot wound to the head. But as details began to emerge regarding Suiter's involvement with some of Baltimore's most corrupt cops, the case took a turn that raised serious questions about what actually happened and if his death was part of a broader cover-up.

Shortly after Suiter died, Police Accountability Report hosts Taya Graham and Stephen Janis produced a podcast series that looked behind the scenes and examined how Suiter's death told a more complex story about police corruption in Baltimore. In Part 2 of this podcast series, Graham and Janis take a closer look at the Baltimore Police Department’s own investigation into Suiter’s death and explain why the facts don’t add up.

Read the transcript of this interview: https://therealnews.com/the-missing-evidence-that-makes-baltimore-detective-sean-suiters-death-even-more-mysterious

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Jan 17, 2022
A cop tried to arrest him for wearing a hoodie, but that's not where the harassment ended
1631
Aaron Reinas was just blocks from his home when a San Bernardino, California, sheriff accosted and accused him of burglarizing cars. What happened next reveals the dangers of unchecked police power and the dire consequences individual citizens can face for standing up for their rights. PAR investigates Reinas's questionable arrest and why police often ignore the law in pursuit of phantom crimes.

Read the transcript of this interview: https://therealnews.com/a-cop-tried-to-arrest-him-for-wearing-a-hoodie-but-thats-not-where-the-harassment-ended

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Jan 14, 2022
A dangerous myth: The US has never been a 'nation of immigrants'
5805
In her latest book, Not a Nation of Immigrants: Settler Colonialism, White Supremacy, and a History of Erasure and Exclusion, world-renowned scholar and activist Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz writes, “The United States has never been ‘a nation of immigrants.’ It has always been a settler state with a core of descendents from the original colonial settlers, that is, primarily Anglo-Saxons, Scots Irish, and German. The vortex of settler colonialism sucked immigrants through a kind of seasoning process of Americanization, not as rigid and organized as the ‘seasoning’ of Africans, which rendered them into human commodities, but effective nonetheless.”

The mythology of the United States as “a nation of immigrants” has a complex political history. And studying the history of how and why this mythology emerged can actually tell us a lot more about America than the myth itself. In this extensive and wide-ranging conversation, TRNN Editor-in-Chief Maximillian Alvarez and Dunbar-Ortiz trace the history of this particular national mythology and the political functions it serves in the larger project of US settler colonialism, economic domination, and military imperialism.

Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz grew up in rural Oklahoma in a tenant farming family. She has been active in the international Indigenous movement for more than 4 decades and is known for her lifelong commitment to national and international social justice issues. She is the winner of the 2017 Lannan Cultural Freedom Prize, and she has authored and edited many books, including An Indigenous Peoples’ History of the United States, which won the 2015 American Book Award, and Loaded: A Disarming History of the Second Amendment.

Read the transcript of this interview: https://therealnews.com/a-dangerous-myth-the-us-has-never-been-a-nation-of-immigrants

Pre-Production/Studio/Post Production: Cameron Granadino

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Jan 11, 2022
Art for the End Times: Who gets to come of age in America?
6625
We were all kids once, and time forces all of us to grow up sooner or later, but not all coming-of-age stories are the same. In this episode of Art for the End Times, Lyta sits down with superstar writer Bertrand Cooper to discuss coming-of-age films, class, the politics of pop culture representation, and whose stories get told—and who gets to tell them—on the silver screen.

Bertrand Cooper is a writer whose work focuses on the intersection of poverty, Black America, education, and popular culture. Read Bertrand’s seminal essay, published in 2021 in Current Affairs, “Who Actually Gets to Create Black Pop Culture?”

Read the transcript of this podcast:

Pre-Production/Studio/Post Production: Dwayne Gladden

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Jan 11, 2022
You can’t revive American democracy without reviving local journalism
3016
The societal ramifications of the death of local journalism in the United States are as widespread as they are depressingly predictable. As Robert W. McChesney and John Nichols recently wrote in the Columbia Journalism Review, “It is not simply that functional self-government is impossible without credible journalism with all that forebodes; it is that local newspapers have provided the social glue that brought communities to life, as places where people see themselves as participating in a joint enterprise with people they know and understand and care about. That is disintegrating.”

In this segment of The Marc Steiner Show, Marc speaks with McChesney and Nichols about how the slow death of America’s journalism ecosystem in the digital age has corresponded with the disintegration of the social fabric of the American republic. They also discuss McChesney and Nichols’s proposal of a Local Journalism Initiative and how it could improve life for communities around the country. Robert W. McChesney is Professor Emeritus at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. John Nichols writes for The Nation and the Capital Times of Madison, Wisconsin. Along with cofounding Free Press with Josh Silver and Kimberly Longey in 2003, McChesney and Nichols have written several books on media and politics together, including most recently The Death and Life of American Journalism: The Media Revolution That Will Begin the World Again.

Read the transcript of this interview: https://therealnews.com/you-cant-revive-american-democracy-without-reviving-local-journalism

Tune in for new episodes of The Marc Steiner Show every Monday and Thursday on TRNN.

Pre-Production/Studio: Cameron Granadino
Post Production: Stephen Frank

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Jan 10, 2022
How Maryland prisoners took on the governor
1319
Walter Lomax was wrongfully imprisoned in the state of Maryland for 39 years until he eventually had his conviction vacated by a judge in 2006. While he was incarcerated and fighting for his freedom, Lomax worked with other inmates on the long process of lobbying for a bill in the state legislature that would end Maryland’s designation as one of only three states—along with California and Oklahoma—that granted the governor the power to veto parole recommendations made by the parole commission. In December of 2021, that fight finally ended and the Maryland legislature stripped the governor’s power to overturn parole decisions for inmates serving life sentences.

In this episode of Rattling the Bars, TRNN Executive Producer Eddie Conway and cohost-in-training Charles Hopkins, better known as Mansa Musa, speak with Walter Lomax about his incarceration and the long fight to change Maryland’s parole system. After being fully exonerated in 2014, Walter Lomax became the face of the effort to fix the state’s compensation system for wrongfully convicted and imprisoned Marylanders, culminating in the passage of “The Walter Lomax Act” in 2021. He is also the founder and executive director of the Maryland Restorative Justice Initiative, a non-profit organization that advocates for humane and sensible criminal justice and sentencing policies for those incarcerated long term in Maryland prisons.

Read the transcript of this interview: https://therealnews.com/how-maryland-prisoners-took-on-the-governor

Pre-Production/Studio/Post Production: Cameron Granadino

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Jan 10, 2022
The mysterious death of detective Sean Suiter: How deep does the corruption go?
1579
A recent HBO documentary entitled The Slow Hustle has brought renewed attention to the mysterious death of Baltimore homicide detective Sean Suiter in 2017. Police initially claimed Suiter was the victim of a lone assailant after his body was found in a West Baltimore alley with a gunshot wound to the head. But as details began to emerge regarding Suiter's involvement with some of Baltimore's most corrupt cops, the case took a turn that raised serious questions about what actually happened and if his death was part of a broader cover-up.

Shortly after Suiter died, Police Accountability Report hosts Taya Graham and Stephen Janis produced a podcast series that looked behind the scenes and examined how Suiter's death told a more complex story about police corruption in Baltimore. In Part 1 of this podcast series, Graham and Janis examine the initial discovery of Suiter’s body, the police-led manhunt that ensued, and the moment when the official explanation of Suiter’s death began to unravel.

Read the transcript of this podcast: https://therealnews.com/the-mysterious-death-of-detective-sean-suiter-how-deep-does-the-corruption-go

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Jan 10, 2022
Teachers fighting for school safety are not the enemy
4513
With the omicron variant spreading like wildfire, COVID-19 cases around the country have shattered previous highs. The federal government has essentially given up on trying to fight the virus and a familiar ghoulish chorus of media pundits and wealthy business executives are berating working people to suck it up and put themselves in harm's way for the sake of the economy. What's worse, workers who stand up for themselves are being viciously vilified and scapegoated for the systemic failures that have put us in this mess.

Perhaps no group is facing more backlash right now than educators. Earlier this week, nearly 3/4 of the membership of the Chicago Teachers Union (CTU) voted to return to virtual work until a deal to implement necessary safety measures is reached with Chicago Public Schools (CPS) or until the city's positivity rate falls below 10%. In response, Mayor Lori Lightfoot and the CPS administration have locked educators out of their virtual classrooms, replaying their actions from last year when COVID cases were surging and teachers were locked out of their employee accounts, and had their pay docked if they refused to return from teaching remotely. In this urgent, unscheduled episode of Working People, TRNN Editor-in-Chief Maximillian Alvarez talks about the lockout with Ana, a CPS teacher and CTU member, and Quetzalli Castro, a CPS teacher and a delegate and organizer within the CTU.

Additional links/info below...

Chicago Teachers Union website, Facebook page, and Twitter page:
https://www.ctulocal1.org/
https://www.facebook.com/ctulocal1
https://twitter.com/CTULocal1

Working People, "Mini-cast: #SafeReturnOrNoReturn (w/ Paula Ladin & Mariana Ruiz)": https://podcasts.google.com/feed/aHR0cHM6Ly93b3JraW5ncGVvcGxlLmxpYnN5bi5jb20vcnNz/episode/MGZiZWQ2MjQtZTYyMC00NjhiLWI1ZjgtYWJiMTU5Y2ZjY2Q5?ep=14

Quinn Meyer, Block Club Chicago, "Chicago Teachers Say They Want To Return To Classrooms, But They Need Better COVID-19 Safety Measures": https://blockclubchicago.org/2022/01/05/chicago-teachers-say-they-want-to-return-to-classrooms-but-they-need-better-covid-safety-measures/

Monica Eng, Axios Chicago, "Chicago Public Schools Cancel Thursday Classes": https://www.axios.com/local/chicago/2022/01/06/chicago-public-schools-cancel-thursday-classes?fbclid=IwAR2gfx0eWCmYPJnuGs1QqfCTXvUxOMPSpK24T2U363I8NS5Yh-lmca-tRdw

Featured Music (all songs sourced from the Free Music Archive at freemusicarchive.org):
Jules Taylor, "Working People Theme Song"

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Jan 07, 2022
‘This is not an aberration’: Jan. 6 and America’s heart of darkness
2147
The insurrectionary violence at the US Capitol that Donald Trump instigated on Jan. 6, 2021, marked another dark page in American history. But while many saw the events of Jan. 6 as an aberration that did not represent who or what America is supposed to be, the fact of the matter is that anti-democratic conservative minorities resorting to violence to maintain power is as American as apple pie. Confronting this fact is essential for understanding how the antecedents to today’s right wing have shaped our society—and how we can fight back today.

In this segment of The Marc Steiner Show, published one year after the attack on the Capitol, we discuss the long road to Jan. 6, the failures of corporate media and a feckless Democratic party to address the serious threats posed by the right, and what everyday people can do to stop the rising authoritarian tide. This is the first installment of “Rise of the Right,” a new, ongoing series on The Marc Steiner Show co-hosted by Marc and Bill Fletcher Jr. that critically and fearlessly examines the roots of today’s right-wing movement—where it came from, the existential threats it poses, and how to combat it.

In this conversation, Marc and Fletcher Jr. are joined by world-renowned journalist and historian of the American right Rick Perlstein. Perlstein’s most recent book, the fourth in an award-winning series investigating the history of modern American conservatism, is Reaganland: America’s Right Turn 1976–1980. Bill Fletcher Jr. has been an activist since his teen years and previously served as a senior staff person in the national AFL-CIO; he is the former president of TransAfrica Forum, a senior scholar with the Institute for Policy Studies, and the author of numerous works of fiction and non-fiction, including ‘They’re Bankrupting Us!’ And 20 Other Myths about Unions and The Man Who Fell from the Sky.

Tune in for new episodes of The Marc Steiner Show every Monday and Thursday on TRNN.

Read the transcript of this podcast: https://therealnews.com/this-is-not-an-aberration-jan-6-and-americas-heart-of-darkness

Pre-Production/Studio: Dwayne Gladden
Post Production: Stephen Frank

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Jan 06, 2022
AUKUS and the West’s dangerous war games with China
1956
Announced on Sept. 15 2021, AUKUS is a trilateral security pact between Australia, the United Kingdom, and the United States, which involves the US and UK sharing nuclear propulsion technology with Australia. As Michael Safi of The Guardian notes, “When Boris Johnson, Joe Biden and Scott Morrison announced a new deal that would provide Australia with the technology to run silent nuclear submarines as part of its navy, one phrase kept coming up: ‘stability in the Indo-Pacific.’ The word the leaders of the UK, the US and Australia did not use may be more important: China.”

While numerous pundits and high-ranking national officials have tried to downplay AUKUS as just another defense procurement deal, it is clear that this move will sharpen the United States’s new Cold War with China, which the Biden administration is waging with equal if not greater zeal than the Trump administration. How does AUKUS figure into the US’s larger plan for “strategic competition” with China? What does this security pact reveal about the geopolitical realignment between the US, post-Brexit UK, and continental Europe? In this interview, TRNN contributor Radhika Desai delves into these critical questions with scholar and anti-war activist Kate Hudson. Hudson is the general secretary of the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (CND), media officer of Left Unity in the UK, and she has been an officer of the Stop the War Coalition since 2002. She was also the head of Social and Policy Studies at London South Bank University from 2003-2010 and is now a visiting research fellow.

Read the transcript of this interview: https://therealnews.com/aukus-and-the-wests-dangerous-war-games-with-china

Pre-Production: Paul Graham
Studio/Post Production: Adam Coley, Dwayne Gladden

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Jan 05, 2022
Why US prisons don’t want prisoners to read
939
In a recent piece for Protean magazine entitled “The American Prison System’s War on Reading,” Alex Skopic writes, “Across the United States, the agencies responsible for mass imprisonment are trying to severely limit incarcerated people’s access to the written word—an alarming trend, and one that bears closer examination.” From outright banning books and letting prison libraries fall into decay to the intrusion of for-profit electronic reading services that inmates have to pay for, the assault on prisoners’ ability to read books while incarcerated is one of many calculated cruelties that make the US carceral system so inhumane.

In this episode of Rattling the Bars, TRNN Executive Producer Eddie Conway speaks with Skopic about the American prison system’s war on reading and its deep (and racist) historical roots. Alex Skopic is a freelance writer from Springville, Pennsylvania. His work has appeared in Anthracite Unite, Current Affairs, and Vastarien: A Literary Journal, among other places.

Read the transcript of this interview: https://therealnews.com/why-us-prisons-dont-want-prisoners-to-read

Pre-Production/Studio/Post Production: Cameron Granadino

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Jan 05, 2022
This groundbreaking book could change the debate over defunding law enforcement
2919
Nearly 20 years ago, Mark Neocleous published a seminal book entitled A Critical Theory of Police Power: The Fabrication of the Social Order, which examines how law enforcement and capitalism work in tandem to control the working class and enforce a brutal social and economic order. In this conversation for the Police Accountability Report podcast, PAR host Stephen Janis speaks with Neocleous about his book, the potential it has to transform the debate over the future of law enforcement, and how our unchecked policing system amounts to a radical form of state power that is both unnecessary and antithetical to democracy. Mark Neocleous is Professor of the Critique of Political Economy at Brunel University London and the author of numerous books, including War Power, Police Power and The Universal Adversary: Security, Capital and 'The Enemies of All Mankind'.

Read the transcript of this podcast: https://therealnews.com/this-groundbreaking-book-could-change-the-debate-over-defunding-law-enforcement

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Jan 03, 2022
What has 2021 meant for the labor movement? Three union organizers discuss
4194
2021 was an energizing year for a labor movement that has had its back against the wall for a long time. From record numbers of American workers voluntarily quitting their jobs to publicly supported strikes and unionization drives in different sectors of the economy, more and more working people are taking action and standing up for themselves. But this is just the beginning—there’s still a lot of work to do, and 2022 will provide a crucial test for the labor movement and its supporters. In this special panel episode of Working People, originally published in November as a bonus episode for patrons, TRNN Editor-in-Chief Maximillian Alvarez talks to three full-time union organizers—Puja Datta (American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees), Margaret McLaughlin (United University Professions), and Diana Hussein (UNITE HERE)—about what Striketober and 2021 in general have meant for the labor movement. They also discuss the day-to-day work of being a union organizer and what people around the country can do to build working-class power.

Read the transcript of this interview: https://therealnews.com/what-has-2021-meant-for-the-labor-movement-three-union-organizers-discuss

Additional links/info below...
Puja's Twitter page: https://twitter.com/oohpujie
Margaret's Twitter page: https://twitter.com/mags_mclaugh
Diana's Twitter page: https://twitter.com/heyadiana
Luis Feliz Leon & Maximillian Alvarez, The Real News Network, "Beneath Striketober Fanfare, the Lower Frequencies of Class Struggle Need to Be Heard": https://therealnews.com/beneath-striketober-fanfare-the-lower-frequencies-of-class-struggle-need-to-be-heard
Marc Steiner, The Real News Network, "Can Today's Labor Militancy Become a Transformative Political Force?": https://therealnews.com/can-todays-labor-militancy-become-a-transformative-political-force
Labor Notes, Secrets of a Successful Organizer: https://labornotes.org/secrets
AFL-CIO, "Know Your Workplace Rights": https://aflcio.org/what-unions-do/your-workplace-rights

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Dec 29, 2021
When identity becomes a prison, there can be no liberational politics
5298
“There is no doubt that racism is real and has negative consequences for people’s lives,” Adolph Reed Jr. and Touré F. Reed note in the abstract to their article “The Evolution of ‘Race’ and Racial Justice under Neoliberalism.” “This is why we have consistently argued for the continued value of anti-discrimination policies. But race reductionism’s insistence on uncoupling disparities from political economy lends itself to individualist reforms (anti-racism training and swelling the ranks of black capitalists) as responses to structural ailments. We must reject race-reductionist analyses and refuse to accommodate charges that a left focused first and foremost on critique of and challenge to capitalist political economy as such, with its corrosive human consequences, is unacceptably ‘class reductionist.’”

What is race reductionism and how does it close off possibilities for liberational politics? How is it that we’ve come to have such a restrictive understanding of race, culture, identity, and “authenticity” today? How have the political, economic, and ideological changes to society that comprise what we call neoliberalism created a situation where discussions of race and racism are divorced from analyses of class and “capitalist political economy”?

As part of a new collaboration between The Real News Network and the podcast THIS IS REVOLUTION, co-hosts Jason Myles and Pascal Robert speak with scholar and activist Adolph Reed Jr. about the genealogy of American conceptions of race and racism, and about the folly of fighting neoliberalism on neoliberalism’s own terms. Adolph Reed Jr. is Professor Emeritus of Political Science at the University of Pennsylvania, a longtime activist, scholar, and commentator, and the author of numerous books, including: Class Notes: Posing as Politics and Other Thoughts on the American Scene; Stirrings in the Jug: Black Politics in the Post-Segregation Era; and The Jesse Jackson Phenomenon: The Crisis of Purpose in Afro-American Politics.

Read the transcript of this interview: https://therealnews.com/when-identity-becomes-a-prison-there-can-be-no-liberational-politics

Pre-Production/Studio: Jason Myles
Post Production: Cameron Granadino

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Dec 27, 2021
Democrats are in for a world of hurt in swing states like Wisconsin
1421
With news that Democrats will likely be caving to pressure from “centrist” lawmakers like Sen. Joe Manchin, shelving President Joe Biden’s Build Back Better package, and reneging on their campaign promises to voters, the party’s electoral fortunes are looking bleak heading into 2022. If Democrats continue failing to deliver on their campaign promises, what will the repercussions be in states like Wisconsin—a key swing state that played a pivotal role in securing electoral victories for Donald Trump in 2016 and Joe Biden in 2020?

Reporting from Wisconsin, TRNN’s Jaisal Noor sat down with Robert Kraig, executive director of the pro-democracy nonprofit Citizen Action of Wisconsin, to discuss the steep hill Democrats already have to climb to combat voter suppression from Republicans, to say nothing of the struggle to keep voters from giving up on both parties entirely.

Read the transcript of this interview: https://therealnews.com/democrats-are-in-for-a-world-of-hurt-in-swing-states-like-wisconsin

Pre-Production/Studio/Post-Production: Cameron Granadino

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Dec 22, 2021
Art for the End Times: Merry Christmas, ya tacky animal!
5382
Christmas is a time to be with the ones you love, to give gifts and give thanks, and to celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ (if you're so inclined). It is also a time for gaudy decorations, Griswoldian light displays, mall Santas, and a carnivalesque orgy of capitalist commercialism, formulaic Hallmark movies, and sugary crap. Does this mean, as we hear every year, that we’ve forgotten the “true spirit” of the holiday, or is there something meaningful and worthwhile in the giant tacky spectacle? What does our attachment to the tackiest parts of Christmas say about us and our aesthetic attachment to “low culture”?

Whether we’re talking about the holidays, pop music, or frosted lip gloss, it’s high time we develop a more nuanced, empathetic, and less elitist way to talk about pop culture and the politics of “good” and “bad” taste. This is precisely what author Rax King does in her new book Tacky: Love Letters to the Worst Culture We Have to Offer, which explores the meaningful relationships we develop with “tacky” things—from suburban malls and the Cheesecake Factory to the music of Creed—and the complicated social pressures we face from snobbish people telling us we’re bad for liking the things we like.

In this special holiday edition of Art for the End Times, host Lyta Gold and TRNN Editor-in-Chief Maximillian Alvarez talk to Rax King about her book, the power of unfettered (and unashamed) aesthetic appreciation, and the true meaning of Christmas. Rax King is the James Beard Award-nominated writer of the columns “Store-Bought Is Fine” and “Dirtbag Chef,” as well as the host of the podcast Low Culture Boil. Her writing can be found in a range of outlets, including Glamour, MEL Magazine, and Catapult.

Read the transcript of this podcast: https://therealnews.com/merry-christmas-ya-tacky-animal

Pre-Production/Studio/Post-Production: Dwayne Gladden

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Dec 21, 2021
A socialist high-school teacher looks to shake up PA State Senate race
3350
With election season coming up, we’re re-launching our Working People series "Working-Class Politics," where we talk to working-class people running for elected office at all levels—in their unions, in local, state, and national government, etc.—as well as candidates fighting with and for the working class. In the latest installment of this ongoing series, we talk to Paul Prescod (aka "Labor Paul"), a socialist, high school teacher, and member of the Philadelphia Federation of Teachers. Listeners may know Prescod as the cohost of The Jacobin Show, but he is now running for Pennsylvania State Senate in its 8th district, pledging to make organizing around working-class issues and legislating universal programs his top priorities. We talk to Prescod about the importance of building working-class coalitions, earning the trust of organized labor, and what it will take to serve the needs of working people in his district.

Read the transcript of this podcast: https://therealnews.com/a-socialist-high-school-teacher-looks-to-shake-up-pa-state-senate-race

Additional links/info below...
Paul's campaign website, Facebook page, and Twitter page:
https://www.paulprescod.com/
https://www.facebook.com/Paul-Prescod-for-PA-Senate-District-8-100204839128381
https://twitter.com/paul_prescod
Paul's Jacobin author page: https://www.jacobinmag.com/author/paul-prescod
Peter Lucas, Jacobin, "Teacher and Pennsylvania State Senate Candidate Paul Prescod: “The Rich Need to Start Paying”": https://www.jacobinmag.com/2021/12/paul-prescod-state-senate-campaign-pennsylvania-dsa
Paul Prescod, The Real News Network, “The industrial working class is not dead”: https://therealnews.com/the-industrial-working-class-is-not-dead

Featured Music (all songs sourced from the Free Music Archive at freemusicarchive.org):
Jules Taylor, "Working People Theme Song"

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Dec 21, 2021
‘We need help’: Hospitality workers are overworked, underpaid
1673
Hospitality workers around the country have faced some of the worst layoffs in any industry during the COVID-19 pandemic. UNITE HERE, a labor union representing over 300,000 workers, most of whom are in the hospitality, food service, and restaurant industries, reported that 98% of its members were out of work last year. At the five hotel properties in Virginia’s historic Colonial Williamsburg, however, workers who did get their jobs back are being chronically overworked and underpaid, resulting in injuries on the job and little to no ability to have a life outside of work.

What’s worse, according to a press release from UNITE HERE LOCAL 25, the union representing hospitality workers at Colonial Williamsburg, management with the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation “has skipped seven bargaining sessions since August” and “has refused to meaningfully engage with workers’ demands to end forced overtime. Currently, Local 25 members in Colonial Williamsburg routinely work six- and seven-day weeks in the hotels and 10- and 12-hour days in the taverns, a practice workers are demanding an end to in the next contract.”

In this episode of Working People, TRNN Editor-in-Chief Maximillian Alvarez speaks with Agatha Hilt, Willie Brown, and John Boardman of UNITE HERE Local 25 about what workers are going through and the status of the current contract fight. Agatha Hilt is a housekeeper at the Williamsburg Lodge and has worked there for the last 11 years, Willie Brown is a houseman at the Williamsburg Lodge and has worked at Colonial Williamsburg for seven years, and John Boardman is the executive secretary-treasurer of UNITE HERE Local 25.

Pre-Production/Studio/Post-Production: Dwayne Gladden

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Dec 20, 2021
From Kabul to the Alabama coal mines: Our year in podcasts
1705
Depressingly relentless waves of the COVID-19 pandemic continued to wreak havoc around the world in 2021, which made it difficult and often impossible to regularly do the kind of on-the-ground reporting that we pride ourselves on here at TRNN. But the news didn’t stop, and neither did we. Even if we couldn’t cover them in person, our expansion of audio reporting at TRNN allowed us to intimately cover this year’s most important stories and to bring you the voices of people on the front lines of the fight for a better world. In this special year-in-review episode of The Real News Network podcast, Editor-in-Chief Maximillian Alvarez and TRNN’s resident radio legend Marc Steiner discuss the importance of audio reporting and the projects we’re working on for 2022. They also recount some of the highlights from our coverage this past year on The Marc Steiner Show, Working People, and TRNN’s other podcast offerings, including: the fall of Kabul to the Taliban; the fight for Indigenous land at Fairy Creek; Jewish activists around the world speaking out against the Israeli occupation; strikes at Kellogg’s, Warrior Met Coal, Frito-Lay, and more; and the introduction of our new TRNN podcast Art for the End Times.

Read the transcript of this podcast: https://therealnews.com/from-kabul-to-the-alabama-coal-mines-our-year-in-podcasts

Pre-Production/Studio: Dwayne Gladden
Post-Production: Stephen Frank

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Dec 20, 2021
Auditing Maryland's infamous former cop-killer-defending medical examiner
574
Dr. David Fowler garnered national attention after his controversial testimony on behalf of killer cop Derek Chauvin. The former Maryland Chief Medical Examiner made headlines when he testified Floyd died in part due to exhaust from a tail pipe. The testimony raised questions about his competence and police bias, and lead nearly 400 medical pathologists to call for review of his rulings on ‘police-involved’ deaths during his tenure in Maryland.
This week, in response to a request from The Real News Network, the state of Maryland released a list of roughly 1,400 cases of in-custody deaths that occurred during Fowler's tenure. The list has been turned over the the Maryland Attorney General's office for review by a panel of experts.

Read the transcript of this podcast: https://therealnews.com/state-releases-list-of-in-custody-deaths-tied-to-controversial-medical-examiner-who-testified-on-behalf-of-killer-cop

Studio/Post-Production: Adam Coley

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Dec 14, 2021
A player lockout puts Major League Baseball’s labor issues on full display
3102
Ending 26 years of "labor peace," Major League Baseball is in the midst of a national lockout. With league owners failing to address the core contract issues raised by the Major League Baseball Players Association, the previous collective bargaining agreement expired at the beginning of this month. In an open letter to baseball fans, MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred stated, "Despite the league's best efforts to make a deal with the Players Association, we were unable to extend our 26-year-long history of labor peace and come to an agreement with the MLBPA before the current CBA expired. Therefore, we have been forced to commence a lockout of Major League players, effective at 12:01 am ET on December 2." Has the league made its "best efforts" to bargain in good faith? Were wealthy team owners really "forced to commence a lockout"? It sure doesn’t look that way…

In this episode of Working People, we're joined by Alex Bazeley and Bobby Wagner, hosts of the podcast Tipping Pitches, to break down the labor politics in today's MLB and what the lockout means for players and fans alike.

Additional links/info below...

Tipping Pitches website, Twitter page, and fan shop:
https://pod.link/1265588219
https://twitter.com/tipping_pitches
https://tippingpitches.myshopify.com/
Alex's Twitter page: https://twitter.com/a_bazeley
Bobby's Twitter page: https://twitter.com/bwags
Dayn Perry, CBS Sports, "MLB lockout: Fact-Checking Commissioner Rob Manfred's Open Letter to Baseball Fans": https://www.cbssports.com/mlb/news/mlb-lockout-fact-checking-commissioner-rob-manfreds-open-letter-to-baseball-fans/
James Wagner, The New York Times, "M.L.B.’s Lockout: What Is It? How Does It Work? What’s Next?": https://www.nytimes.com/article/mlb-lockout.html
Nathan Kalman-Lamb & Dirk Hayhurst, Jacobin, "'Inside the Game, You Are Still a Commodity'": https://jacobinmag.com/2019/03/minor-league-baseball-pay-labor
Working People, "Mini-cast: Suicide Squeeze (w/ Nathan Kalman-Lamb)": https://podcasts.google.com/feed/aHR0cHM6Ly93b3JraW5ncGVvcGxlLmxpYnN5bi5jb20vcnNz/episode/MWUxZWMwZTFlZTFlNDAxZWE3MzQ4M2FkYjQ2MTg1ZTU?sa=X&ved=0CAUQkfYCahcKEwiwx8jJg-L0AhUAAAAAHQAAAAAQCg&hl=en

Kellogg's strike links/info below...

Working People YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC7bOmS4Ohll4C10ZX-lsGlg
Look for updates on the Dec. 17 livestream/fundraiser on the Working People Twitter page and Morning Riot Twitter page:
https://twitter.com/WorkingPod
https://twitter.com/morningriotpod
Maximilian Alvarez, The Real News Network, “Breakfast of champions: Kellogg's cereal workers strike for employees who have been left behind”: https://therealnews.com/striking-kelloggs-workers-show-the-country-what-solidarity-looks-like
Maximillian Alvarez, The Real News Network, "How companies like Kellogg’s are weaponizing the courts to break strikes": https://therealnews.com/how-companies-like-kelloggs-are-weaponizing-the-courts-to-break-strikes
Mel Buer, The Real News Network, “Kellogg’s strike: Cereal plant workers fight to raise the floor for all employees as sales soar”: https://therealnews.com/kelloggs-strike-cereal-plant-workers-fight-to-raise-the-floor-for-all-employees-as-sales-soar
Mel Buer, The Real News Network, “Kellogg’s strikers hold the line and prepare for winter”: https://therealnews.com/kelloggs-strikers-hold-the-line-and-prepare-for-winter
Sahid Fawaz, Labor 411, "Five Ways To Support The Kellogg Strike": https://labor411.org/411-blog/five-ways-to-support-the-kellogg-strike/

Featured Music (all songs sourced from the Free Music Archive at freemusicarchive.org):
Jules Taylor, "Working People Theme Song"

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Dec 14, 2021
How companies like Kellogg’s are weaponizing the courts to break strikes
2547
1,100 coal miners at Warrior Met Coal in Alabama have been on strike since April 1, and 1,400 Kellogg’s workers at cereal plants in Nebraska, Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Tennessee have been on strike since Oct. 5. Facing intense financial, physical, and psychological strains from being on strike for so long, violence and hostility from scab workers on the picket line, and threats of being permanently replaced, these workers have held strong. However, they are now facing additional obstacles imposed by business-friendly courts that are stripping their legally protected right to picket. At the Warrior Met picket line in Brookwood, Alabama, as well as the Kellogg’s picket line in Omaha, Nebraska, striking union workers have been slapped with injunctions that restrict who can picket, how close they can stand to company entrances, what they can and can’t do, etc. But the unions aren’t giving up without a fight.

“For too long, the courts have sided with corporations over labor, fundamentally and perniciously reshaping American law, life and liberty,” Sara Nelson, president of the American Association of Flight Attendants-CWA, recently wrote in The New York Times. “Today, they are doing their part to unravel the American dream—and the social contract that has been in place since the 1940s, offering the working class a good life if they spend 40 hours on the job, the means to enjoy it in off hours and a secure retirement.” To discuss where things stand now with each of these important strikes and how companies like Kellogg’s and Warrior Met Coal are trying to use the courts to break them, TRNN Editor-in-Chief Maximillian Alvarez speaks with Larry Spencer in Alabama and Dan Osborn in Nebraska. Larry Spencer is currently serving as Vice President for District 20 of the United Mine Workers of America, which represents the 1,100 miners who have been on strike at Warrior Met Coal since April. Dan Osborn has worked at the Kellogg’s plant in Omaha, Nebraska, for 18 years and currently serves as president of the Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco Workers and Grain Millers International Union (BCTGM), Local 50G.

Additional links/info below…

- Kim Kelly, The Real News Network, “Striking Alabama coal miners are prepared for a long fight“: https://therealnews.com/striking-alabama-coal-miners-are-prepared-for-a-long-fight
- Kim Kelly, The Real News Network, “The true price of coal“: https://therealnews.com/the-true-price-of-coal
- Kim Kelly, The Real News Network, “Don’t mess with a coal miner’s wife“: https://therealnews.com/dont-mess-with-a-coal-miners-wife
- Kim Kelly, The Real News Network, “The miners take Manhattan”: https://therealnews.com/the-miners-take-manhattan
- Maximilian Alvarez, The Real News Network, “Coal miners in Alabama are striking for their fair share”: https://therealnews.com/coal-miners-in-alabama-are-striking-for-their-fair-share
- Maximilian Alvarez, The Real News Network, “Five months into strike, Alabama coal miners aren’t backing down”: https://therealnews.com/five-months-into-strike-alabama-coal-miners-arent-backing-down
- Maximilian Alvarez, The Real News Network, “Breakfast of champions: Kellogg’s cereal workers strike for employees who have been left behind”: https://therealnews.com/striking-kelloggs-workers-show-the-country-what-solidarity-looks-like
- Mel Buer, The Real News Network, “Kellogg’s strike: Cereal plant workers fight to raise the floor for all employees as sales soar”: https://therealnews.com/kelloggs-strike-cereal-plant-workers-fight-to-raise-the-floor-for-all-employees-as-sales-soar
- Mel Buer, The Real News Network, “Kellogg’s strikers hold the line and prepare for winter”: https://therealnews.com/kelloggs-strikers-hold-the-line-and-prepare-for-winter

Pre-Production/Studio/Post-Production: Dwayne Gladden

Read the transcript of this interview: https://therealnews.com/how-companies-like-kelloggs-are-weaponizing-the-courts-to-break-strikes

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Dec 13, 2021
Why the holidays are the most painful time of the year for prisoners
1030
After spending the past year and a half socially distancing, millions around the country will be coming together to celebrate the holidays this year with a renewed appreciation for seeing and being with loved ones. For those who are locked away in prisons and jails, however, the dehumanizing separation from family, friends, and community will continue. Having spent 44 years as a political prisoner, TRNN Executive Producer Eddie Conway has an intimate knowledge of just how painful the holidays are for incarcerated people and why suicides, violence, and depression spike for prisoners this time of year. In this episode of Rattling the Bars, Conway and TRNN Editor-in-Chief Maximillian Alvarez have an open and emotional discussion about what it’s like to be locked up during the holidays and about the importance of doing what we can to help prisoners maintain contact with the outside world.

Read the transcript of this interview: https://therealnews.com/why-the-holidays-are-the-most-painful-time-of-the-year-for-prisoners

Pre-Production/Studio/Post Production: Cameron Granadino

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Dec 13, 2021
Can today’s labor militancy become a transformative political force?
1693
2021 has been a pivotal year for the labor movement. As we have covered extensively here at TRNN, through strikes, unionization campaigns, protest actions, and record numbers of people quitting their jobs, workers across sectors are showing a level of assertiveness and increased militancy that we haven’t seen in decades. How far will this “labor awakening” go? How do we harness the rank-and-file energy driving these actions and use it to build a more robust and powerful labor movement? And can that movement fuse with other struggles for social and economic change to be a formidable political force? These are the kinds of questions that members of Organizing Upgrade are asking on a daily basis—and, in many ways, our future depends on the answers we come up with.

In this segment of The Marc Steiner Show, Marc welcomes back Alex Han, longtime labor organizer and new executive editor of Organizing Upgrade, to take stock of this year’s surge in labor militancy and to discuss the strategic steps that need to be taken to build labor power in the US, combat right-wing authoritarianism, and advance the cause of multiracial democracy. Alex Han has organized with unions, in the community, and in progressive politics for two decades. As a vice president of SEIU (Service Employees International Union) Healthcare Illinois and Indiana, he helped tens of thousands of home-based healthcare and childcare workers unionize. He helped found United Working Families and he served on the national political team for the Bernie Sanders campaign in 2020. He has also worked with labor and community organizations around the country as part of the Bargaining for the Common Good network.

Tune in for new episodes of The Marc Steiner Show every Monday and Thursday on TRNN.

Pre-Production/Studio/Post-Production: Stephen Frank, Dwayne Gladden

The Marc Steiner Show

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Dec 13, 2021
Starbucks workers in Buffalo make history with union vote
3082
Starbucks is the world’s largest coffeehouse chain and one of the most recognizable consumer brands in existence. In the US alone, Starbucks has nearly 9,000 corporate-owned stores, and not a single one of them is unionized … until now. After leading an organizing campaign during the COVID-19 pandemic and facing tireless efforts by the company to delay, deflate, and defeat union elections with the National Labor Relations Board, workers at three Starbucks locations in Buffalo, New York, submitted their ballots this week. After vote counting took place on Thursday, one of the three Buffalo stores, located on Elmwood Avenue, became the first unionized company-owned store in the US. Another store, located on Camp Road, voted against unionizing, and workers at the Genesee Street store in Cheektowaga appear to have voted “yes” on unionizing, but challenges to several votes are still being reviewed.

In this Working People mini-cast, TRNN Editor-in-Chief Maximillian Alvarez talks with Brian Murray, one of the Buffalo Starbucks workers and organizers with SBWorkers United, and journalist Jordan Chariton, who recently traveled to Buffalo to speak with Starbucks workers and report on their fight for Status Coup.

Read the transcript of this interview: https://therealnews.com/how-unionizing-starbucks-workers-took-on-a-corporate-giant

Additional links/info below...

SBWorkers United website, Twitter page, and Instagram:
https://sbworkersunited.org/
https://twitter.com/SBWorkersUnited
https://www.instagram.com/sbworkersunited/

GoFundMe: Starbucks Retaliates Against Whistleblower: https://www.gofundme.com/f/starbucks-retaliates-against-whistleblower

Brian's Twitter page: https://twitter.com/brianmurrray1

Jordan's Twitter page: https://twitter.com/JordanChariton

Status Coup website, Twitter page, and YouTube channel:
https://statuscoup.com/
https://twitter.com/StatusCoup
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC0pCsHlEEmCfxllZSlRB2Og

Sean Collins, Strikewave, "It’s about having a democratic voice in Starbucks." Interview with Brian Murray of SBWorkersUnited": https://www.thestrikewave.com/interviews/interview-with-brian-murray-of-starbucks-union

Noam Scheiber, The New York Times, "As Starbucks Workers Seek a Union, Company Officials Converge on Stores": https://www.nytimes.com/2021/10/18/business/economy/starbucks-union-buffalo.html

Ahiza García-Hodges, NBC News, "Former Starbucks CEO Uses Holocaust Analogy to Describe Coffee Company’s Mission": https://www.nbcnews.com/business/business-news/former-starbucks-ceo-uses-holocaust-analogy-describe-coffee-companys-m-rcna5170

Featured Music (all songs sourced from the Free Music Archive at freemusicarchive.org):
Jules Taylor, "Working People Theme Song"

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Dec 09, 2021
‘How juveniles are railroaded by the criminal justice system’
1776
In 2014, at the age of 15, Prakash Churaman was arrested at his home at 6AM without a warrant. After driving him around for a few hours, police brought Churaman to the 113th Precinct and, as Churaman and his attorney maintain, coerced a confession out of him for a crime he did not commit. As reported in the Queens Daily Eagle, “Prosecutors say Churaman was one of the gunmen in a robbery gone wrong when Churaman, alongside two others, allegedly broke into his friend’s home and ended up fatally shooting [Taquane] Clark and injuring one other. An elderly woman who lived in the home during the robbery later told police that she recognized Churaman’s voice and identified him as one of the suspects. Her testimony, which is at the crux of the prosecution’s case, has been called into question by Churaman’s attorney.” Even after the court overturned Churaman’s conviction, he is still fighting to clear his name and is now facing a second trial after declining to take a plea deal.

In this episode of Rattling the Bars, Eddie Conway talks with Churaman and his attorney Jose Nieves about how the criminal justice system railroads juveniles into false confessions, and about the ongoing fight to get all charges against Churaman dropped.

Read the transcript of this interview: https://therealnews.com/how-juveniles-are-railroaded-by-the-criminal-justice-system

Pre-Production/Studio/Post Production: Cameron Granadino

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Dec 08, 2021
Art for the End Times: Help! I married a Maw-mouth
3917
Yes, we all have a certain nostalgic attachment to the Harry Potter series and Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. But let’s be honest: It’s a little odd that children are offered up as sacrifices in JK Rowling’s magical world, that they’re expected to save everybody, and that everyone is just kind of fine with that arrangement. However, in the first two installments of her celebrated Scholomance series, A Deadly Education and The Last Graduate, author Naomi Novik creates a much darker and much more violent world of magic, monsters, sorcerers, and survival—a world that takes the premise of Rowling’s series to a darker, more violent, and dramatically complex conclusion. Following the central character El as she navigates the treacherous world within and beyond the Scholomance, a school for sorcerers without teachers or a governing body, Novik’s innovative novels not only make for great reading but also probe deeply human and political questions about the choices we make to survive in a darkly unjust world—and the fights we must wage in order to create something better.

In the newest episode of her TRNN podcast Art for the End Times, host Lyta Gold convenes a lively panel of writers, philologists, editors, and haters to discuss the Scholomance series and the important lessons Novik’s magical world can teach us about surviving our own monstrous world. Panelists include: Dan Walden, Allegra Silcox, Adrian Rennix, and Jessica Lamb.

Pre-Production/Studio/Post Production: Stephen Frank

Read the transcript of this podcast:

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Dec 07, 2021
The fight to organize teachers in small-town Wisconsin
3831
In 1974, the population of Hortonville, Wisconsin, was around 1,500, and yet it became the site of one of the most contentious and consequential teachers’ strikes in the state’s history. In the end, over 80 striking educational staff members in the Hortonville district were fired by an intransigent school board, and the strike itself ripped the community in two. With teachers and their supporters on one side and a virulently anti-union school board, local police, and townspeople opposed to the strike on the other side, things got very ugly in Hortonville, and the legacy of the broken ‘74 strike left a deep scar on the town and the district for many years. Nearly 50 years after the Hortonville strike and 10 years after the passing of Act 10 under Republican Gov. Scott Walker, which was a hammer blow to public sector unions around the state, teachers in Hortonville are facing increased workloads, lower take-home pay, difficulties retaining educational staff, and greater obstacles to union organizing.

As part of a special collaboration with In These Times magazine for The Wisconsin Idea, TRNN Editor-in-Chief Maximillian Alvarez traveled to Wisconsin with Cameron Granadino (TRNN) and Hannah Faris (In These Times) to speak with teachers and organizers around the state about how Act 10 impacted their lives and work, and how they are rebuilding out of the rubble. In this interview, recorded at their home in Hortonville, Alvarez speaks with Amanda and Jeff Frenkel, two K-12 educators and organizers with the American Federation of Teachers who are fighting to rebuild the union in Hortonville and use the tools available to them to improve working conditions in the district.

Read the transcript of this interview: https://therealnews.com/the-fight-to-organize-teachers-in-small-town-wisconsin

Pre-Production: Maximillian Alvarez, Hannah Faris, Alice Herman, Cameron Granadino, Eleni Schirmer (research consultant), John Fleissner (research consultant), John Yaggi (research consultant), Harvey J. Kaye (research consultant), Jon Shelton (research consultant), Adam Mertz (research consultant)
Studio: Cameron Granadino
Post-Production: Cameron Granadino, Stephen Frank, Kayla Rivara

The Wisconsin Idea is an independent reporting project of People’s Action Institute, Citizen Action of Wisconsin, and In These Times.

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Dec 07, 2021
Inflation panic is the new deficit hawkery
1160
“After years of hypocrisy and bungled forecasts of doom, the budget deficit no longer provokes panic,” economist Max Sawicky recently wrote in In These Times. “The elites need a new bogeyman, otherwise Congress might actually spend us into happiness. Now, the new monster in the closet is Inflation.” With all eyes on President Joe Biden’s Build Back Better plan, which would entail massive and sorely needed social investments in education, healthcare, childcare, clean energy, and more, a familiar chorus of budgetary hand-wringers has emerged to argue that such social spending is the cause of increased inflation. As Sawicky argues, that’s nonsense.

In this segment of The Marc Steiner Show, Marc and Sawicky break down the current levels of inflation and discuss the political motivations behind the moral panic over inflation, which is essentially a new form of old-school deficit hawkery. Max Sawicky is an economist, writer, and senior research fellow at the Center for Economic and Policy Research; he has worked at the Advisory Commission on Intergovernmental Relations, the Economic Policy Institute, and the Government Accountability Office.

Tune in for new episodes of The Marc Steiner Show every Monday and Thursday on TRNN.

Pre-Production/Studio: Stephen Frank, Dwayne Gladden
Post Production: Stephen Frank

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Dec 06, 2021
Student workers lead rank-and-file revolt at Columbia University
2258
Back in the spring, we spoke with three graduate student workers at Columbia University who were on strike with the Student Workers of Columbia union, UAW Local 2110. After rank-and-file members rejected the tentative agreement between the university and the bargaining committee, negotiations continued. However, Columbia has still failed to meet key demands, including better wages, dental and vision healthcare coverage, and third-party arbitration for cases involving harassment and discrimination. Now, Student Workers of Columbia are back on strike and have been on the picket line since Nov. 3. In this mini-cast, we talk with three graduate student workers, Joanna Lee, Tamara Hache, and Caroline Smith, about the current strike and how academic workers are an essential part of the labor movement.

Additional links/info below...

Student Workers of Columbia, UAW Local 2110 website, Facebook page, and Twitter page:
https://www.studentworkersofcolumbia.com/
https://www.facebook.com/swcuaw
https://twitter.com/SW_Columbia
Hardship Fund for Columbia Student Workers #CUonStrike: https://opencollective.com/student-workers-of-columbia/projects/withheld-stipends
Working People, "Mini-cast: Columbia Is a Bully (w/ Joanna Lee, Harlan Chambers, & Cameron Foltz)": https://podcasts.google.com/feed/aHR0cHM6Ly93b3JraW5ncGVvcGxlLmxpYnN5bi5jb20vcnNz/episode/NjgwY2MzZmUtZjY5Yy00YjcxLTg2YTMtYmVmMThmMGRkNzRh?sa=X&ved=0CAUQkfYCahcKEwiwxtOpi7_0AhUAAAAAHQAAAAAQCg&hl=en
Joanna's Twitter page: https://twitter.com/jjotatoes
Tamara's Twitter page: https://twitter.com/te_hache
Caroline's Twitter page: https://twitter.com/Caro_lineP2
Ashley Wong, The New York Times, "Why Columbia Student Workers Are Back On Strike": https://www.nytimes.com/2021/11/24/nyregion/columbia-grad-student-strike.html
Rachel Himes, Jacobin, "Why Columbia Graduate Workers Like Me Are on Strike": https://www.jacobinmag.com/2021/11/columbia-university-graduate-workers-strike-dental-care-higher-wages
Benjamin Stein, Columbia Spectator, “Columbia Endowment Soars Up 32.3 Percent to $14.35 Billion as Markets Recover from COVID-19 Recession”: https://www.columbiaspectator.com/news/2021/10/27/columbia-endowment-soars-up-323-percent-to-1435-billion-as-markets-recover-from-covid-19-recession/

Featured Music (all songs sourced from the Free Music Archive at freemusicarchive.org):
Jules Taylor, "Working People Theme Song"

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Nov 30, 2021
The death penalty is a barbarous stain on our humanity
1846
According to a 2021 survey by the Pew Research Center, even though they have doubts about its administration, fairness, and usefulness as a crime deterrent, most Americans today still support the death penalty. Moreover, while it may seem like a brutal relic of a bygone era, capital punishment is still legal in 24 states, for the federal government, and for the military. As John Gramlich writes, “while state-level executions have decreased” in recent decades, “the federal government put more prisoners to death under President Donald Trump than at any point since the U.S. Supreme Court reinstated capital punishment in 1976.”

Sister Helen Prejean has spent much of her life as a Catholic nun bearing witness to the violent inhumanity of state executions and campaigning to abolish the death penalty. Her work has been recognized around the world, including by the Pope, and has been instrumental in advancing national dialogue on capital punishment and in shaping the Catholic Church’s vigorous opposition to all executions. She is also the author of Dead Man Walking: An Eyewitness Account of the Death Penalty in the United States, The Death of Innocents: An Eyewitness Account of Wrongful Executions, and River of Fire: On Becoming an Activist. In this special episode of Rattling the Bars, TRNN Executive Producer Eddie Conway sits down to speak with Sister Prejean about the barbarous injustice of state-sanctioned executions and her own path to becoming a leading advocate for death penalty abolition.

Read the transcript of this interview: https://therealnews.com/the-death-penalty-is-a-barbarous-stain-on-our-humanity

Pre-Production/Studio/Post Production: Cameron Granadino

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Nov 29, 2021
Biden ‘fights’ climate crisis with kid gloves on
1064
People around the world watched expectantly as global leaders convened at the 2021 United Nations Climate Change Conference, also known as COP26, in Glasgow, Scotland, from Oct. 31 to Nov. 13. And many around the world were left angry and disillusioned when the conference seemed to culminate in a lot of sincere-sounding rhetoric, empty promises, and unenforceable measures from the world’s worst polluters, including the United States. As Dharna Noor recently wrote for The Boston Globe, “Leaders at the Glasgow talks made some bold pledges in the meeting’s final agreement, but no one can make them keep those promises. The United Nations has no power to enforce compliance, and there are no penalties for breaking pacts.” What’s worse, Noor continues, “According to a report by advocacy groups including Global Witness and Corporate Accountability, more than 500 lobbyists and executives with ties to oil, gas, and coal companies attended [COP26], either as members of trade associations or as part of countries’ official delegations.”

In this segment of The Marc Steiner Show, Marc and Noor discuss what the proceedings at COP26 tell us about the seriousness of the climate crisis and the inadequacy of the methods we’re using to combat it. They also discuss Noor’s recent article about the Biden administration overseeing the largest offshore oil and gas lease sale in US history. Dharna Noor is The Boston Globe's climate producer. Prior to joining the Globe's climate team, Noor worked as a staff writer at Earther, Gizmodo's climate vertical, where she also co-produced a season of the podcast Drilled on the fossil fuel industry's influence on education. Before that, she led the climate team at the Real News Network.

Read the transcript of this interview: https://therealnews.com/biden-fights-climate-crisis-with-kid-gloves-on

Tune in for new episodes of The Marc Steiner Show every Monday and Thursday on TRNN.

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Nov 29, 2021
Organize students, organize everyone, and fight like hell
2906
In the years following the Great Recession, Republican Gov. Scott Walker led an all-out assault on unions and public sector workers in Wisconsin. In response, teachers, students, farmers, and workers of all stripes descended on the state Capitol, engaging in one of the largest sustained protest actions in US history, now known as the Wisconsin Uprising. When the dust settled, however, Walker and the Republican legislature succeeded in passing Act 10, which was a devastating blow to the labor movement that essentially stripped collective bargaining rights for public sector workers, made it much more difficult for workers to organize, and forced unions to take massive concessions on healthcare, retirement benefits, and much more. Soon after, in 2015, Walker signed legislation that turned Wisconsin into a “right to work” state, issuing another blow to unions in a state once heralded as a bellwether of progressive politics and the labor movement.

As part of a special collaboration with In These Times magazine for “The Wisconsin Idea,” TRNN Editor-in-Chief Maximillian Alvarez traveled to Wisconsin with Cameron Granadino (TRNN) and Hannah Faris (In These Times) to speak with teachers and organizers around the state about how Act 10 impacted their lives and work, and how they are rebuilding out of the rubble. In this interview, recorded at the Racine Labor Center, Alvarez speaks with retired teacher and lifelong organizer Al Levie about the devastating impacts of the right-wing war on workers and public education, the historic grassroots struggle that took place during the Uprising, and how multiracial, multi-generational, student-led coalitions in places like Racine are carrying on that fighting spirit 10 years later.

Read the transcript of this interview: https://therealnews.com/organize-students-organize-everyone-and-fight-like-hell

Pre-Production: Maximillian Alvarez, Hannah Faris, Alice Herman, Cameron Granadino, Eleni Schirmer (research consultant), John Fleissner (research consultant), John Yaggi (research consultant), Harvey J. Kaye (research consultant), Jon Shelton (research consultant), Adam Mertz (research consultant)
Studio: Cameron Granadino
Post-Production: Cameron Granadino, Stephen Frank, Kayla Rivara
The Wisconsin Idea is an independent reporting project of People’s Action Institute, Citizen Action of Wisconsin, and In These Times.

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Nov 24, 2021
Fiction is a beautiful weapon in the class struggle—we should use it
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What role does fiction have to play in the class struggle? Should the left be making a stronger case for the political importance of reading literature? In this special Working People episode, which has been months in the making, TRNN Editor-in-Chief Maximillian Alvarez talks with writer and editor Sarah Lazare about her novel Testimony, which she co-authored with her late father, Peter Lazare. Testimony is a leftist crime thriller that takes place in Springfield, Illinois, at the height of the “war on terror” panic in the wake of the 9/11 attacks. It is also a deeply moving story about trust, commitment to everyday people, and fighting the corrupt, self-serving, and nefarious forces that weaponize fear for their own gain.

As the back cover of the book describes, "Testimony isn’t about One Great Man taking on the system, but about one okay, flawed person working with a rag-tag team of other okay, flawed people to combat a system of cynicism and greed much bigger than them." In this deep and wide-ranging conversation, Alvarez talks with Lazare about the book itself, about her father and the long process of getting the book ready for publication, and about the important role genre fiction has to play in our collective fight for a better world. This episode also features segments of dramatic readings from Testimony performed by Alvarez, Lazare, and friends of the show Adam Johnson (Citations Needed) and Mel Buer (Morning Riot). And a special thanks to Working People producer Jules Taylor for all his hard work editing the episode!

Read the transcript of this episode: https://therealnews.com/fiction-is-a-beautiful-weapon-in-the-class-struggle-we-should-use-it

Additional links/info below...

Sarah's In These Times author page and Twitter page:
https://inthesetimes.com/authors/sarah-lazare
https://twitter.com/sarahlazare
Sarah Lazare & Peter Lazare, Strong Arm Press, Testimony: https://strongarmpress.com/catalog/testimony/?fbclid=IwAR3N2Ki8cW7WDPyBaYqk4nNjkXZD1AXfU1cfnifN7ezM6C5ea9BgxALZ2fQ
Strong Arm Press, Book Launch Event: "Why the Left Should Engage Fiction: A Conversation With Radical Thriller and Mystery Writers": https://www.facebook.com/events/822725148380203
Mel Buer Twitter page and Patreon:
https://twitter.com/coldbrewedtool
https://www.patreon.com/mel_buer
Morning Riot podcast Twitter page: https://twitter.com/morningriotpod
Adam Johnson Twitter page and Substack:
https://twitter.com/adamjohnsonNYC
https://thecolumn.substack.com/
Citations Needed Twitter page and Patreon:
https://twitter.com/citationspod
https://www.patreon.com/citationsneededpodcast/posts

Featured Music (all songs sourced from the Free Music Archive at freemusicarchive.org): Jules Taylor, "Working People Theme Song"

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Nov 23, 2021
‘This is COINTELPRO 2021’
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After spending nearly half a century in prison, leftist revolutionaries and political prisoners David Gilbert and Russell Maroon Shoatz (who also spent 22 years in solitary confinement) were released earlier this year. In this episode of Rattling the Bars, TRNN Executive Producer Eddie Conway speaks with Charles Hopkins, better known as Mansa Musa, about the historic occasion of Gilbert and Shoatz’s release and the reasons for their imprisonment. Conway and Hopkins are both former Black Panthers and longtime political prisoners who engaged in radical organizing and education programs while locked up. While reflecting on the historical climate in which they, Gilbert, Shoatz, and a generation of radicals were killed or imprisoned in the 1960s and ‘70s, Hopkins and Conway also offer advice to today’s social justice activists on the imperatives of community organizing and the continuing threat posed by the draconian apparatus of state repression.

Read the transcript of this interview: https://therealnews.com/this-is-cointelpro-2021

Pre-Production/Studio/Post Production: Cameron Granadino

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Nov 22, 2021
The Hoffa era is over, and the Teamsters are ready to fight
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The International Brotherhood of Teamsters just held a pivotal leadership election that will set a new course for one of the most storied unions in existence. The election officially marked the end of the Hoffa era—James P. Hoffa, son of Jimmy Hoffa, retired as Teamsters General President. In a major shift that will have significant ripple effects within the Teamsters and the labor movement writ large, members elected the Teamsters United reform slate headed by incoming president and Hoffa critic Sean O’Brien. As journalist Indigo Olivier wrote for Jacobin, “With 1.4 million members, the International Brotherhood of Teamsters (IBT) election results have implications not just for the massive upcoming United Parcel Service (UPS) contract, but for organizing Amazon and pushing labor-friendly legislation like the Protecting the Right to Organize (PRO) Act. The election marks the first time that a coalition backed by Teamsters for a Democratic Union, a rank-and-file reform caucus, will head the union since former IBT president Ron Carey was removed from office on false corruption charges in 1997.”

We will bring you a rank-and-file breakdown of the election in the coming weeks, but for now we are publicly releasing one of our recent Working People bonus episodes so listeners can have some context to understand the importance of this election. In this episode, recorded in October, we talk with Indigo Olivier about the Teamsters leadership election and the 46th annual Teamsters for a Democratic Union (TDU) convention, which was held in Chicago on Oct. 1-3. Olivier is a 2020–2021 fellow with In These Times’ Leonard C. Goodman Institute for Investigative Reporting and her writing has been featured at outlets like Jacobin, In These Times, and The Nation. She is also a member of NYC-DSA.

Additional links/info below...
Indigo's Twitter page: https://twitter.com/IndigoOlivier
Indigo's author page at In These Times: https://inthesetimes.com/authors/indigo-olivier
Indigo Olivier, Jacobin, "Teamster Rank-and-File Reformers Are Making a Bid for Union Leadership": https://jacobinmag.com/2021/10/teamsters-tdu-convention-reform-amazon-election-ups
Indigo Olivier, Jacobin, "With Reformers Victorious, It's a New Day for the Teamsters": https://jacobinmag.com/2021/11/teamsters-united-democratic-union-ibt-election
Working People, "The Teamsters Have Entered the Chat (w/ Joe Allen)": https://www.patreon.com/posts/53478081
Ryan Haney, Labor Notes, "Teamster Insurgents Plan for a Win—And What Comes After": https://labornotes.org/2021/10/teamster-insurgents-plan-win-and-what-comes-after
Andy Sernatinger, In These Times, "Hoffa's House Divided: The 2021 Teamster Election, Explained": https://inthesetimes.com/article/hoffa-teamsters-for-a-democratic-union-reform-labor-militancy-election
International Brotherhood of Teamsters Election Results: https://www.ibtvote.org/Election-Results
Featured Music (all songs sourced from the Free Music Archive at freemusicarchive.org): Jules Taylor, "Working People Theme Song"

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Nov 22, 2021
How do we avoid the politics of despair?
2200
Even with majorities in both the House and Senate, conservative Democrats fought and removed parts of the Build Back Better plan that were wildly popular with voters—voters who elected Democrats expecting them to deliver things like paid leave, universal pre-K, and expanded Medicare coverage. As those voters continue to face real struggles, what options do they have when their representatives won’t even defend their agenda against members of their own party?

On this episode of The Marc Steiner Show, longtime labor organizer Bill Fletcher Jr. and Jacobin staff writer Luke Savage discuss how voters need to organize and counterattack with litigation, ballot initiatives, and mass action to confront voter suppression and gerrymandering, and pressure Democrats into action—and not just wait until midterm elections “for the meteor to hit.”

Tune in for new episodes of The Marc Steiner Show every Monday and Thursday on TRNN.

Pre-Production/Studio/Post-Production: Stephen Frank

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Nov 19, 2021
A Dutch court may help deliver justice for a Gazan family killed in an Israeli strike
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In 2017, Ismail Ziada filed a civil suit at the District Court of the Hague against former Israeli military leaders Benny Gantz and Amir Eshel for their role in a 2014 strike—part of the Israeli offensive in Gaza known as Operation Protective Edge—which killed six of Ziada's family members. In 2020, the court dismissed Ziada’s civil suit, arguing that, as agents of the state, Gantz and Eshel enjoy functional immunity from prosecution, and the court had no jurisdiction over the matter.

Now, the Dutch court hearing his appeal has until Dec. 7 to decide whether the international legal principle of universal jurisdiction will allow him to pursue his case from the Netherlands, an enormous step forward for Palestinians trying to seek justice in Israel, where they're prohibited from addressing cases or appeals against Israel for war crimes and acts of war. TRNN contributor David Kattenburg talks to Ziada's lawyer, Liesbeth Zegveld, about this case and what it could mean for those seeking international justice by way of local jurisdictions.

Read the transcript of this interview: https://therealnews.com/a-dutch-court-may-help-deliver-justice-for-a-gazan-family-killed-in-an-israeli-strike

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Nov 19, 2021
Baltimore museum workers are fighting for a 'wall-to-wall' union
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In this video installment of Battleground Baltimore, TRNN Editor-in-Chief Maximillian Alvarez sits down with Laura Albans and Matt Papich, two workers at the renowned Baltimore Museum of Art who are involved in a crucial unionization effort that is currently taking place at the museum. From security guards and visitor services to art installers and curators, workers across departments are fighting to form a "wall-to-wall" union with the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, Council 67. After officially announcing their unionization effort in late September, BMA workers have joined a broader surge in labor organizing at cultural institutions around the country, including at the nearby Walters Museum in Baltimore. According to the union's mission statement, "We, the BMA staff, are part of the wave of change that is happening at cultural institutions around the country. By forming a union, we will champion better working conditions for all employees and create a positive cultural shift throughout the institution and the Baltimore community."

In this interview, Alvarez talks with Albans and Papich about the work they do, how the unionization drive developed, and where things currently stand between workers and museum leadership. Laura Albans is a curatorial research associate who has worked at the BMA for nearly two decades; Matt Papich works in the exhibitions design and installation department and has been with the museum for 15 years.

Read the transcript of this interview: https://therealnews.com/baltimore-museum-workers-are-fighting-for-a-wall-to-wall-union

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Nov 18, 2021
Democratic accountability keeps revolutions alive
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In the wake of the recent Nicaraguan elections, the US imperialist war machine is once again directing its wrath at the governments of Nicaragua and Cuba. In response, anti-imperialist leftists around the world are rightly denouncing the onslaught of US aggression, sanctions, and propaganda, but many are also pushing for the left to engage in serious debate about how revolutionary governments can maintain systems of democratic accountability and hold true to the principles from which they were born.

In this segment of The Marc Steiner Show, Marc talks with Circles Robinson, who has been living between Nicaragua and Cuba since late 1984, about the Nicaraguan elections and the need for such debate to take place, both within Nicaragua and the broader left sphere. Before moving to Cuba, where he now works as editor of Havana Times, Robinson worked in Nicaragua for the National Union of Farmers and Ranchers and edited the Nicaragua Farmer's View.

Tune in for new episodes of The Marc Steiner Show every Tuesday and Friday on TRNN.

Pre-Production/Studio/Post Production: Stephen Frank

Read the transcript of this interview: https://therealnews.com/democratic-accountability-keeps-revolutions-alive

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Nov 16, 2021
‘We want Rikers closed and no new jails in its place!’
1547
For years, prisoners, activists, and legal advocates have been drawing attention to the inhumane conditions at Rikers Island, New York’s most infamous jail complex. But the COVID-19 pandemic turned what was already a dire situation at Rikers into a full-blown humanitarian crisis. With cells grossly overcrowded, guards and medical staff largely absent, and an interior crumbling from disrepair, Rikers became a hotbed of contagion and needless death. What’s worse, as Judge Jonathan Lippman recently wrote in The New York Times, “90 percent of the human beings subjected to the appalling conditions at Rikers are there pretrial, many because they cannot afford bail. Almost 1,600 have been waiting for a trial for over a year. Almost 700 have been waiting for more than two.”

In this episode of Rattling the Bars, TRNN Executive Producer Eddie Conway speaks with Olayemi Olurin about the ongoing crisis at Rikers and the renewed wave of outrage from the public and elected officials who are demanding that the jail be closed for good. Olurin is a public defender and staff attorney at the Legal Aid Society and an analyst at the Law & Crime Network.

Pre-Production/Studio/Post Production: Cameron Granadino

Read the transcript of this interview: https://therealnews.com/we-want-rikers-closed-and-no-new-jails-in-its-place

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Nov 15, 2021
Ten years after Act 10, Wisconsin teachers are still fighting to rebuild from the rubble
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Ten years ago, the landscape for workers’ rights and organized labor in the state of Wisconsin changed dramatically with the passage of Act 10 under Republican Gov. Scott Walker. Act 10 was a hammer blow to the labor movement that essentially stripped collective bargaining rights from public sector workers, made it much more difficult for workers to organize, and forced unions to take massive concessions on healthcare, retirement benefits, and much more. Soon after, in 2015, Walker signed legislation that turned Wisconsin into a “right to work” state, issuing another blow to unions in a state once heralded as a bellwether of the labor movement. But all hope is not lost. In the wake of this coordinated assault on workers and unions, many are using the tools available to them to build up their communities and rebuild working-class power in Wisconsin.

As part of a special collaboration with In These Times magazine for “The Wisconsin Idea,” TRNN Editor-in-Chief Maximillian Alvarez traveled to Wisconsin with Cameron Granadino (TRNN) and Hannah Faris (In These Times) to speak with teachers and organizers around the state about how Act 10 impacted their lives and work, and how they are rebuilding out of the rubble. In the first installment of this series of special reports, Alvarez speaks with Maricela Aguilar Monroy, an undocumented educator and organizer who has spent most of her life in Milwaukee, and who is working to strengthen the community that has provided a home for her so it can continue to provide a home for others.

Pre-Production: Maximillian Alvarez, Hannah Faris, Alice Herman, Cameron Granadino
Studio: Cameron Granadino
Post-Production: Cameron Granadino, Stephen Frank, Kayla Rivara

The Wisconsin Idea is an independent reporting project of People’s Action Institute, Citizen Action of Wisconsin, and In These Times.

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Nov 15, 2021
Art for the End Times: Reading Lord of the Rings in the end times
5069
As a canonized work of fantasy fiction, a Hollywood institution, and a global cultural phenomenon, JRR Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings is in a class all its own. Not only has the series had tremendous cultural staying power since its original publication in the 1950s, renewed for generations with Peter Jackson’s film adaptations, but it became a lifeline for many people quarantining throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. Why have Tolkien’s works captivated us for so long? What does it tell us about our world and about the world Tolkien created that each perpetually has so many revealing things to say about the other? How has the series become the subject of an unending interpretive battle between reactionaries and revolutionaries who want to claim it as their own? And what does it mean to truly love Lord of the Rings for what it is, warts and all?

In the inaugural episode of her new TRNN podcast Art for the End Times, writer and editor Lyta Gold dives deep into one of the most complex, lore-filled, and culturally enduring works in the fantasy canon with journalist, researcher, and diehard Lord of the Rings fan Talia Lavin. Lavin is the author of the critically acclaimed book Culture Warlords: My Journey Into the Dark Web of White Supremacy, and her writing has been featured in outlets like The New Yorker, The New Republic, The New York Times Review of Books, the Washington Post, the Village Voice, and more. She also writes regularly on her Substack The Sword and the Sandwich.

Pre-Production/Studio/Post Production: Stephen Frank

Read the transcript of this podcast: https://therealnews.com/reading-lord-of-the-rings-in-the-end-times

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Nov 15, 2021
Cops said they arrested him for turning around at a checkpoint, but the real reason is much worse
1103
This week, PAR continues its coverage of the overt abuses of police power by examining new data that shows just how dangerous—and even deadly—systematic over-policing can be. PAR hosts Taya Graham and Stephen Janis break down several cases that show how police use pretextual car stops to expand their power, challenge the constitutional rights of citizens, and expand the reach of the country’s law-enforcement-industrial complex.

Post Production: Adam Coley

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Nov 12, 2021
‘Nicaragua presents a challenge to the international left’
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On Nov. 7, Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega secured a fourth consecutive term in the country’s latest round of national elections with Rosario Murillo, Ortega’s wife, serving as Vice President. Prior to his current run as President, which began in 2007, Ortega had headed the government throughout the 1980s, first through the Junta of National Reconstruction after the Sandinista National Liberation Front ousted the right-wing Somoza dictatorship in 1979, and then as President from 1985 to 1990. Nicaragua’s electoral authority has said that voter turnout in this week's elections reached 65% and that Ortega’s Sandinista alliance secured about 75% of votes cast. The United States is currently leading an international chorus rejecting the legitimacy of the elections and condemning the Ortega-Murillo government, with President Joe Biden threatening action against Nicaragua. “What Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega and his wife, Vice President Rosario Murillo, orchestrated today was a pantomime election that was neither free nor fair, and most certainly not democratic,” Biden’s official statement says. The “United States, in close coordination with other members of the international community, will use all diplomatic and economic tools at our disposal to support the people of Nicaragua and hold accountable the Ortega-Murillo government and those that facilitate its abuses.”

The aggressive posture and threats of sanctions (or worse) from President Biden follow a well-worn path of flexed imperialist might, political and even military intervention, and self-serving definitions of democracy that the US has often deployed against left-wing governments throughout Latin America. In response, leftists of different stripes in North America and beyond have denounced President Biden’s threat while also claiming that accusations of rigged elections in Nicaragua or doubts about the leftist bonafides of Ortega’s government are entirely unfounded. But there is a lot more context that needs to be unpacked here, and doing so from a historically honest and anti-imperialist perspective is vital to understanding the very real political crisis in Nicaragua. In this interview, TRNN Editor-in-Chief Maximillian Alvarez speaks with professor and Latin American specialist William I. Robinson about the deeper historical context surrounding Nicaragua’s elections, the very real political crisis that many are not seeing, and the need for the internationalist left to oppose US imperialism while soberly assessing the abuses of the Ortega-Murillo government.

William I. Robinson is Distinguished Professor of Sociology, Global, and Latin American Studies at the University of California at Santa Barbara. He worked in Managua with the Nicaragua News Agency and the Nicaragua Foreign Ministry in the 1980s and was affiliated faculty with the Central American University in Managua until 2001. Along with authoring a series of analyses of the 2021 Nicaraguan elections for the North American Congress on Latin America, Robinson has authored, co-authored, and edited numerous books, including Global Capitalism and the Crisis of Humanity; David and Goliath: The U.S. War Against Nicaragua; The Global Police State; and A Faustian Bargain: U.S. Intervention in the Nicaraguan Elections and American Foreign Policy in the post-Cold War Era.

Pre-Production/Studio/Post Production: Cameron Granadino

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Nov 11, 2021
Will new governments in Germany and Norway take serious action on climate crisis?
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Recent federal elections in Norway and Germany saw entrenched conservative and neoliberal governments swept from power, replaced by an odd assortment of liberals, leftists, and Greens. In Norway, Europe’s largest oil and gas producer, a new ruling coalition has emerged between the social democratic Labour Party and agrarian Centre Party. In Germany, Europe’s economic powerhouse and its largest energy consumer, Chancellor Angela Merkel has stepped down after nearly two decades in power, the Social Democratic Party of Germany (SPD) is now the largest party, and the Greens drew nearly 15% of the vote, gaining 51 seats in the Bundestag. In the wake of record-setting rain and flooding in Germany this summer, as well as near-record heatwaves in Nordic countries, tackling climate change was a major concern for voters in the recent German and Norwegian elections. With new coalitions in power, what hope is there that each country, and the European Union writ large, will take substantive steps to address the climate crisis?

In this interview, TRNN contributor David Kattenburg speaks with Jule Könneke and Rafael Loss about the recent European elections and what opportunities they present for Germany and Norway’s new coalition governments to take serious action. Jule Könneke is the former president of Polis180, a Berlin-based think tank on foreign and European affairs; she is also a climate diplomacy researcher at the German NGO E3G. Rafael Loss is the coordinator for pan-European data projects at the European Council on Foreign Relations’ Re:shape Global Europe project; he is also a co-author of the policy brief “Europe’s Green Moment: How to Meet the Climate Change Challenge.”

Post-Production: Adam Coley

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Nov 10, 2021
The painful, erased history of how Africa made Western modernity possible
2085
With few exceptions, traditional accounts of the development of the modern world put European history at the center of everything, often focusing on the “Age of Discovery” and global expansion, the Enlightenment, and so on. “The history of Africa, by contrast, has long been relegated to the remote outskirts of our global story,” as Howard W. French asserts in his critically acclaimed and game-changing new book. “What if, instead, we put Africa and Africans at the very center of our thinking about the origins of modernity?”

In this segment of The Marc Steiner Show, Marc talks with French about his new book, Born in Blackness: Africa, Africans, and the Making of the Modern World, 1471 to the Second World War, and about the forcibly forgotten history of Africa’s central place in the making of the modern world. Howard W. French is a professor of journalism at Columbia University and former New York Times bureau chief in the Caribbean and Central America, West and Central Africa, Tokyo, and Shanghai. He is the author of numerous books, including A Continent for the Taking: The Tragedy and Hope of Africa and China's Second Continent: How a Million Migrants Are Building a New Empire in Africa.

Tune in for new episodes of The Marc Steiner Show every Tuesday and Friday on TRNN.

Pre-Production/Studio/Post Production: Stephen Frank

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Nov 09, 2021
35,000 Kaiser Permanente workers are set to strike, and the future of US healthcare is at stake
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35,000 members of the Alliance of Health Care Unions, a coalition of 21 local unions representing over 52,000 workers at the healthcare giant Kaiser Permanente in states around the country, have set a strike date. Unless the company addresses the serious issues that workers have raised at the bargaining table, Kaiser workers will walk off the job on Nov. 15, and thousands more may join in what could become one of the largest strikes ever in the healthcare sector. The core issues that led to the potential strike not only involve adequate compensation for union workers, but also the dire concerns about healthcare workers being grossly overworked and under-resourced, as well as two-tier employment and the struggle to draw in and retain trained staff. On top of the essential concerns that directly impact the jobs and livelihoods of healthcare workers, the outcome of this high-stakes labor struggle will have huge implications for the future of healthcare in the US as we know it.

In this special edition of Working People, TRNN Editor-in-Chief Maximillian Alvarez speaks with two Kaiser workers, Hannah Winchester, DPT, and Nicholas Eng, RNFA, about the work that they do, the changes they’ve experienced in the healthcare system, and the dire conditions that have led to a potential strike. Hannah Winchester is a home health physical therapist by trade; she is also her department’s Labor Partner, a shop steward, and a member of the bargaining team for the Oregon Federation of Nurses and Health Professionals (OFNHP) Professional Bargaining Unit. Nicholas Eng has been a nurse for nearly 10 years; he is also an OFNHP shop steward and is currently on release for OFNHP to be present for contract bargaining and to help with organizing union members and actions, including strike planning.

Post-Production: Adam Coley

Read the transcript of this interview: https://therealnews.com/35000-kaiser-permanente-workers-are-set-to-strike-and-the-future-of-us-healthcare-is-at-stake

Additional links/info below…

The Alliance of Health Care Unions website, Facebook page, and Twitter page:
https://www.ahcunions.org/
https://www.facebook.com/AHCUnions/
https://twitter.com/AHCunions

Oregon Federation of Nurses and Health Professionals website, Facebook page, Twitter page, and Instagram:
http://ofnhp.aft.org/
https://www.facebook.com/ofnhp/
https://twitter.com/ofnhp
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Noah Lanard, Mother Jones, ““You Are Worth More”: Kaiser Permanente Workers Are on the Verge of a Historic Strike”: https://www.motherjones.com/politics/2021/10/kaiser-permanente-strike-health-care-nurses-decades/

Dave Muoio, Fierce Healthcare, “Nearly 32,000 Kaiser Permanente Workers Set to Strike Nov. 15. Tens of Thousands More Mulling Their Own Demonstrations”: https://www.fiercehealthcare.com/hospitals/nearly-32-000-kaiser-permanente-workers-set-to-strike-nov-15

Working People, The Real News Network, “A Small-Town Hospital Goes After Its Union Nurses”: https://therealnews.com/a-small-town-hospital-goes-after-its-union-nurses
Nov 09, 2021
Surviving the darkness: Eddie Conway speaks with Guantánamo Bay detainee Mansoor Adayfi
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Mansoor Adayfi, “Detainee No. 441,” was imprisoned in Guantánamo Bay for over 14 years without charges as an enemy combatant. As detailed in the description for Adafyi’s new book Don’t Forget Us Here: Lost and Found at Guantánamo, “Arriving as a stubborn teenager, Mansoor survived the camp’s infamous interrogation program and became a feared and hardened resistance fighter leading prison riots and hunger strikes protesting inhumane treatment and arbitrary detention. With time though, he grew into the man nicknamed ‘Smiley Troublemaker’: a student, writer, advocate, and historian.” In this special episode of Rattling the Bars, TRNN Executive Producer, legendary Black Panther, and longtime political prisoner Eddie Conway sits down with Adafyi to talk about his new book, his time at Guantánamo, the human cost of the War on Terror, and about the battle for survival in the dark heart of American empire.

Pre-Production/Studio/Post Production: Cameron Granadino

Read the transcript of this interview: https://therealnews.com/surviving-the-darkness-eddie-conway-speaks-with-guantanamo-bay-detainee-mansoor-adayfi

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Nov 09, 2021
7 months into strike, Alabama coal miners keep the fire burning
1664
As we have been covering at The Real News, coal miners in Brookwood, Alabama, represented by the United Mine Workers of America (UMWA), have been on an unfair labor practices strike against Warrior Met Coal since the beginning of April. Now entering their eight month on strike, workers and their families are facing violence on the picket line, vilification from the company, and even court orders that infringe on their legally protected right to picket. And yet, striking miners and their families continue to hold the line and provide support for one another—and they say they will continue to do so for as long as it takes.

In this segment of The Marc Steiner Show, Marc speaks with Braxton and Haeden Wright about the conditions that led to the strike at Warrior Met Coal, what families have endured throughout the strike, and how solidarity from supporters around the world has kept them going. Braxton Wright is one of the UMWA miners on strike in Alabama; he comes from a family of miners and has been working at the mine now owned by Warrior Met Coal for 17 years. Haeden Wright is president of the UMWA Auxiliary Locals #2368 and #2245; she is a high school teacher who also comes from a coal mining family. Braxton and Haeden are married.

Tune in for new episodes of The Marc Steiner Show every Tuesday and Friday on TRNN.

Pre-Production/Studio/Post Production: Stephen Frank

Read the transcript of this interview: https://therealnews.com/7-months-into-strike-alabama-coal-miners-keep-the-fire-burning

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Nov 05, 2021
He livestreamed a congressman’s aide on Facebook, they charged him with two felonies
1449
Did prosecutors silence a progressive activist under the guise of enforcing an obscure law? That’s the issue PAR explores as we look at the case of a pot legalization activist who was charged with two felonies for livestreaming an encounter with a conservative congressman’s aide during a protest.

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Nov 05, 2021
‘War in the woods’: The fight for Indigenous lands in ancient Fairy Creek rainforest
1719
“A colossal battle to save the last temperate rainforest on Vancouver Island, Canada, is under way, as police and forest protectors are engaged in a cat-and-mouse chase through hundreds of kilometres of thick woods,” Brandi Morin wrote earlier this summer for Al Jazeera English. Since then, the battle in British Columbia has only gotten more intense as Indigenous land protectors and non-Indigenous activists put their bodies on the line to defend the ancient rainforest in the Fairy Creek and Central Walbran areas, facing arrest and forced removal by Canadian police.

In this segment of The Marc Steiner Show, Marc speaks with Morin about what she’s seen on the ground covering this crucial struggle to preserve unceded First Nations land from the onslaught of settler-colonial violence and the environmentally destructive logging industry. Brandi Morin is an award-winning French/Cree/Iroquois journalist from Treaty 6 territory in Alberta, Canada. Her work has appeared in numerous outlets, including Al Jazeera English, The Guardian, The National Observer, The New York Times, Vice Canada, and CBC Indigenous.

Tune in for new episodes of The Marc Steiner Show every Tuesday and Friday on TRNN.

Pre-Production/Studio/Post Production: Stephen Frank

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Nov 02, 2021
A world without police is more possible (and necessary) than you think
1523
Calls to “defund the police” reverberated throughout communities across the US in the summer of 2020, when millions took to the streets to protest a brutal, unchecked, and racist system of police violence and control. Then came the backlash. Since the initial push by activists and protestors to get the public to consider alternatives to endlessly increasing police spending, a forceful chorus has pushed in the opposite direction, demanding more funding for more police who should be given more power over our lives. “Defund the police” has been criticized for being not only a “bad slogan” but a political pipe dream that fails to reckon with the messy realities of maintaining “public safety.”

However, as Geo Maher argues in his latest book, A World without Police: How Strong Communities Make Cops Obsolete, America’s policing system is a demonstrably terrible way to keep people and communities safe. In fact, Maher writes, police “don’t prevent violence, and they don’t make any measurable contribution to public safety... The police have wormed their way into the very foundations of American society and work every day to make themselves—and their bloated budgets—seem indispensable.” In this special conversation for the TRNN podcast, Police Accountability Report Host Stephen Janis speaks with Maher about his groundbreaking assessment of American policing and the practical necessity of collectively devising better models for communal safety.

Pre-Production/Studio: Stephen Janis
Post Production: Stephen Janis, Stephen Frank

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Nov 01, 2021
The heat is on: Will UN climate change conference finally result in serious action?
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For decades, climate scientists and activists have been sounding the alarm that, unless the world takes drastic action, humanity is careening toward disaster and the climate crisis is spiraling out of control. And yet, for all the public talk from world leaders about the seriousness of the situation, the world’s worst contributors to climate change have failed to even begin taking the steps necessary to curb runaway climate catastrophe. This is the backdrop for the convening of the 26th United Nations conference on climate change, also known as COP26, which will take place in Glasgow, Scotland, from Oct. 31 to Nov. 12. In this urgent interview, TRNN contributor Radhika Desai speaks with economist Peter Victor about what we should and shouldn’t expect to happen at the COP26, and about the rapidly closing (and possibly already closed) window for humanity to save itself from climate catastrophe. Peter Victor is professor emeritus at York University in Canada and author of Managing Without Growth: Slower by Design, Not Disaster; he was the founding president of the Canadian Society of Ecological Economics and is a past-president of the Royal Canadian Institute for Science.

Pre-Production: Paul S. Graham
Studio/Post Production: Adam Coley

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Oct 31, 2021
Vampire allegories in the age of capitalist dystopia and climate catastrophe
5520
From folkloric figures like Lamia and Grendel who feast on human flesh, to historical monsters like Vlad the Impaler and Elizabeth Báthory who reveled in human blood and carnage, to Bram Stoker’s Dracula, the antecedents to the modern vampire have instilled fear and morbid fascination for centuries. Especially during periods of social devastation, imperial conquest, plague, and mass death, vampires and vampiric figures have featured prominently in popular imagination. In every case, the cultural phenomenon of the vampire reveals much about the time, place, and people from which it emerged—and the persistent relevance and adaptability of the vampire allegory likewise reveals much about the evolution of human society and its timeless struggle to come to terms with death. So, in the age of runaway capitalist destruction and climate catastrophe, what should we make of the popularity of new vampire allegories like Netflix's Midnight Mass and the Provincetown series in the new season of FX's American Horror Story?

In this panel discussion, just in time for Halloween, the TRNN team hosts a wide-ranging discussion about the historical significance of the vampire and its enduring allure in the 21st century. Our panel today includes TRNN Editor-in-Chief Maximillian Alvarez; TRNN Managing Editor Jocelyn Dombroski; Marc Steiner, host of The Marc Steiner Show; and special guest, renowned author and editor Lyta Gold.

Pre-Production/Studio/Post Production: Stephen Frank

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Oct 29, 2021
Democrats are courting disaster (again) by betraying their base
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Grassroots activists worked tirelessly to get voters to the polls in 2020, and their efforts helped Joe Biden win in key swing states like Wisconsin. Now these same activists say they feel deeply disappointed that Democrats have broken their campaign promises by gutting their own economic agenda, which could have brought real change to working people across the country. Reporting from on the ground in Wisconsin, TRNN’s Jaisal Noor sits down with Angela Lang, who launched Black Leaders Organizing for Communities, a year-round community engagement and voter turnout organization that helped Biden win Wisconsin and the White House. As Lang warns, Democrats must deliver meaningful change for voters if they want to avoid getting routed in the 2022 midterms.

Pre-Production/Studio/Post-Production: Cameron Granadino

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Oct 29, 2021
If Rey Rivera jumped off a building, why are his injuries more consistent with being hit by a car?
1718
The mysterious death of Baltimore filmmaker Rey Rivera continues to prompt more questions than answers. Did Rivera really jump off the roof of Baltimore's Belvedere Hotel, or was he the victim of foul play? Why did the investigation into Rivera’s death come to such a sudden close? And why won’t police reopen the case as a potential homicide? Throughout this special investigation series, TRNN reporters Taya Graham and Stephen Janis have examined one of Baltimore’s most notorious and mysterious cases and detailed the glaring issues with the official police report that deemed Rivera’s death a suicide. In the third and final installment of this series, Graham and Janis discuss a new analysis of Rivera’s injuries by a medical illustrator, which points to an entirely different explanation of why and how a 32-year-old man with a lot to live for ended up dead in an abandoned hotel conference room.

This podcast was originally published on Dec. 27, 2020.

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Oct 29, 2021
The people of Sudan fight against a military coup
1435
On Monday, Oct. 25, Sudan’s military seized control of the country, arresting Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok and dissolving the transitional council government that was created to oversee the country’s passage to a more democratic system of governance. The coup comes just weeks before the military was expected to hand leadership of the transitional council over to civilians, and General Abdel-Fattah Burhan, the head of the Sudanese military, announced on national TV that he was declaring a state of emergency and that the military would be appointing a technocratic government to run the country until elections are held in July 2023. However, already battered by years of dictatorship, revolution, and economic turmoil, on top of the interlocking crises of COVID-19 and global vaccine apartheid, the people of Sudan have risked their lives to take to the streets and rebel against the coup. In this urgent interview, TRNN Editor-in-Chief Maximillian Alvarez speaks with Mubarak Elamin of the Sudan US Policy Network about the unfolding political crisis in Sudan and about the people’s democratic fight against the military coup.

Pre-Production/Studio/Post-Production: Adam Coley

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Oct 29, 2021
Cops ordered him to break the law, then arrested him when he wouldn't
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The arrest and incarceration of New Mexico resident Chris Dixon provide yet another stark example of the Kafkaesque nature of contemporary police power. Dixon was arrested after police tired to force him to consent to an illegal search of the business where he worked. But the actions of the officer, coupled with the fallout Dixon faced, show that American law enforcement deliberately wields its arbitrary and heavy-handed power to sow chaos and erode the rights of the people.

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Oct 29, 2021
His mysterious death made national headlines, so why are police ignoring the case?
1706
The mysterious death of Rey Rivera has continued to stoke speculation and controversy, especially after the case received national attention from a Netlfix reboot of Unsolved Mysteries in July, 2020. In Part I of their three-part investigation, TRNN reporters Taya Graham and Stephen Janis reviewed the unsettling circumstances surrounding Rivera's death and the ensuing police investigation. In Part II, Graham and Janis take a closer look at the homicide case files, which were recently released by the Baltimore police and shed light on new clues and glaring questions about a case that remains unsolved to this day.

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Oct 28, 2021
Cops say he jumped from a building, but the evidence suggests foul play
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The mysterious death of Rey Rivera made national headlines when the case was investigated on the Netflix reboot of Unsolved Mysteries, which became the number one show on the popular streaming platform. Many viewers who have learned about the case are skeptical of the police theory that the young filmmaker jumped to his death from the roof of the Belvedere Hotel in Baltimore's Mt. Vernon neighborhood. In Part 1 of this three-part podcast series, TRNN investigative reporters Taya Graham and Stephen Janis re-open the unsettling case that has captivated audiences and amateur detectives alike, exploring new evidence that points to a more sinister theory of how Rey Rivera died.

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Oct 27, 2021
Our nuclear arsenal doesn’t need to be ‘modernized’—it needs to be eliminated
2413
The vast network of ready-to-launch intercontinental ballistic missiles that make up the United States’s nuclear triad remains a constant source of apocalyptic risk that few in politics or the media will openly acknowledge. Even if the Cold War threat of imminent nuclear war has dissipated from the public mind, the threat of catastrophic accidents and even humanity’s mutually assured nuclear destruction has by no means disappeared. Instead of confronting this threat head on, the government is funneling billions of dollars into ‘modernizing’ the nation’s nuclear arsenal. As Daniel Ellsberg and Norman Solomon write in a recent piece for The Nation, “The history of nuclear weapons in this country tells us that people will spare no expense if they believe that spending the money will really make them and their loved ones safer—we must show them that ICBMs actually do the opposite.”

In this segment of The Marc Steiner Show, Marc speaks with Ellsberg and Solomon about the persistent threat of nuclear disaster and why it needs to be at the center of our political concern. Daniel Ellsberg is a former American military analyst employed by the RAND Corporation who precipitated a national uproar in 1971 when he released the Pentagon Papers, the US military’s account of activities during the Vietnam War, to The New York Times. Ellsberg has continued as a political activist, giving lecture tours and speaking out about current events. Norman Solomon is the executive director of the Institute for Public Accuracy, the author of War Made Easy, and a cofounder of RootsAction.org.

Tune in for new episodes of The Marc Steiner Show every Tuesday and Friday on TRNN.

Pre-Production/Studio/Post Production: Stephen Frank

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Oct 26, 2021
Why is Alabama using federal COVID relief funds to build prisons?
1165
President Joe Biden signed a major $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief package that provided funds to cities and states around the country to recover from devastating effects of the pandemic. Regardless of widespread condemnation and criticism, Alabama’s Republican Gov. Kay Ivey and the state legislature have pushed through plans to use a significant portion of those federal COVID-19 relief funds for the construction of new prison complexes. In this episode of Rattling the Bars, TRNN Executive Producer Eddie Conway speaks with Pastor Kenneth Glasgow, founder of The Ordinary People Society, about the shocking move by the state of Alabama to divert desperately needed relief funds to build up its carceral system.

Pre-Production/Studio/Post-Production: Cameron Granadino

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Oct 25, 2021
Fed up with corruption and concessions, UAW members push for a more democratic union
5435
A lot of important history is being made right now, and something potentially game-changing is unfolding among the American workforce. At this very moment, 10,000 UAW members at John Deere are on strike in Iowa, Illinois, and Kansas; 35,000 healthcare workers at Kaiser Permanente have authorized a strike; 1,400 workers at cereal giant Kellogg’s are on strike in Nebraska, Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Tennessee; 1,100 coal miners in Alabama have been on strike since April; 800 nurses in Massachusetts have been on strike since March; and numerous other strikes and strike authorizations are also unfolding. On top of that, record numbers of US workers are voluntarily quitting their jobs, in what is being called the “Great Resignation.”
At the same time, there are crucial struggles happening that may not seem as dramatic as collective strikes but are no less important for the future of the labor movement. One of these struggles is taking place within the United Auto Workers itself, where members are currently voting on an unprecedented referendum that will decide whether or not the 400,000 working members and nearly 600,000 retirees can directly elect their top union officers. Ballots went out on Oct. 19 and are due back at the end of November. If the referendum passes, it could be the beginning of a massive shakeup for the union, which many members say needs more democratic governance and more militant energy coming from the rank-and-file. Unite All Workers for Democracy (UAWD), a grassroots caucus of UAW members advocating for direct elections, has been leading the charge for this historic referendum. In this episode of Working People, we talk with Justin Mayhugh, who has worked at General Motors in Kansas City for over a decade and is an organizer with the UAWD caucus.

Justin Mayhugh Twitter page: https://twitter.com/justinmayhugh
Unite All Workers for Democracy (UAWD) Facebook page, Twitter page, and Instagram:
https://www.facebook.com/UniteAllWorkersForDemocracy
https://twitter.com/UAWD_Reform
https://www.instagram.com/uawd_reform/
Jonah Furman, The Real News Network, "A Once-in-a-Generation Chance to Revive the UAW Is Coming": https://therealnews.com/a-once-in-a-generation-chance-to-revive-the-uaw-is-coming
Featured Music (all songs sourced from the Free Music Archive: freemusicarchive.org)
Jules Taylor, "Working People Theme Song"

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Oct 25, 2021
Settler violence in the West Bank ‘is out of control’
1828
The ancient city of Hebron, said to be the burial site of the prophet Abraham, is the second holiest site in the Jewish world, the fourth holiest site in the Muslim world, and currently the largest Palestinian city in the Occupied West Bank. Besieged by the violence of Israeli occupation and economic turmoil, Hebron has become a pressure cooker of settler aggression and Palestinian resistance—and the human toll has been immense. In this important segment of The Marc Steiner Show, we get an on-the-ground view of the daily reality of Israeli occupation and apartheid from Basil al-Adraa and Oriel Eisner, who say that the violence in Hebron has gotten demonstrably worse over the course of the COVID-19 pandemic. Basil al-Adraa is an activist, journalist, and photographer from the village of a-Tuwani in the South Hebron Hills; Oriel Eisner, who currently lives in Jerusalem, is an American-Israeli activist and organizer with the Center for Jewish Nonviolence.

Tune in for new episodes of The Marc Steiner Show every Tuesday on TRNN.

Pre-Production/Studio/Post Production: Stephen Frank

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Oct 22, 2021
Cops pulled him over for a bogus ticket, then things got really ugly
1528
A questionable traffic stop by an Arizona highway patrol officer reveals how the powers bestowed upon police are ripe for abuse. Video shows how the officer escalated the encounter after he was challenged by a motorist to justify his actions. PAR breaks down how the misuse of police power during a single car stop reflects a broader anti-democratic imperative that drives American policing.
Oct 22, 2021
Cheated, desperate, financially ruined NYC taxi drivers go on hunger strike
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On Wednesday, Oct. 20, a group of taxi drivers in New York City with the New York Taxi Workers’ Alliance began a hunger strike to demand that the city enact life-saving debt relief to workers who have been taken advantage of and squeezed to the breaking point. The infiltration of app-based rideshare services like Uber and Lyft has been disastrous for taxi workers and their industry, undercutting rates and creating a perpetual race to the bottom for everyone. On top of that, taxi drivers in New York City, many of whom are immigrants and people of color, have found themselves crushed under the weight of massive debt and are facing financial ruin. This debt stems from the artificially inflated cost of taxi medallions, the city-issued permits drivers are required to have to own a cab and pick up street hails in the city.

In this urgent interview, TRNN Editor-in-Chief Maximillian Alvarez speaks with Mouhamadou Aliyu and Bhairavi Desai about the dire situation taxi drivers are facing and their life-or-death struggle to get City Hall to take action. Mouhamadou Aliyu is a longtime taxi owner-driver in New York City and a member of the New York Taxi Workers Alliance; Bhairavi Desai is the executive director of the New York Taxi Workers Alliance.
Oct 21, 2021
Robin DG Kelley: Fighting for freedom in the face of capitalist apocalypse
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The world was a very different place when Robin DG Kelley’s renowned book Freedom Dreams: The Black Radical Imagination was first published in 2002. As the reality of post-9/11 America and the war on terror hardened into a dystopian, jingoistic consensus, and as the global economy careened towards impending catastrophe, the possibility of a future in which peace, justice, and equality reigned had all but disappeared. And yet, as people in the darkest of times throughout human history have done, many still had the audacity to dream of—and fight for—something better. Now, 20 years later, as we face the reality that unchecked capitalist pillage, endless war, and climate catastrophe have put humanity on a path to mutually assured destruction, the future seems bleaker than ever, and the possibility of averting disaster feels more unattainable than ever. How do we confront the enormity of all this devastation and still keep fighting? How can we keep hope alive that we can save ourselves, humanity, and the planet when the world around us gives us so little cause for hope? As we continue the impossible struggle for a better world, how do we deal with constant failure without succumbing to defeat?

In this special interview, TRNN Editor-in-Chief Maximillian Alvarez and Kelley grapple with these questions and discuss the continued necessity of freedom dreaming—and fighting like hell—in the face of catastrophe. Robin DG Kelley is currently the Distinguished Professor and Gary B. Nash Endowed Chair in US History in the Department of History at the University of California, Los Angeles. His research has explored the history of social movements in the US, the African diaspora, and Africa; Black intellectuals; music and visual culture; surrealism, and Marxism, among other vital topics. His essays have been published in general publications and academic journals across the board, including the Journal of American History, American Historical Review, The Nation, Monthly Review, New York Times, Color Lines, Social Text ,The Black Scholar, Journal of Palestine Studies, and Boston Review. He has authored and edited numerous influential books, including Africa Speaks, America Answers: Modern Jazz in Revolutionary Times; Thelonious Monk: The Life and Times of an American Original; Freedom Dreams: The Black Radical Imagination; Race Rebels: Culture, Politics, and the Black Working Class; and Hammer and Hoe: Alabama Communists During the Great Depression.

Read the transcript of this interview: https://therealnews.com/robin-dg-kelley-on-fighting-for-freedom-in-the-darkness-of-capitalist-dystopia
Oct 19, 2021
What could this moment of labor strife become if workers get more organized?
1943
At this very moment, 10,000 UAW members at John Deere are on strike in Iowa, Illinois, and Kansas; 35,000 healthcare workers at Kaiser Permanente have authorized a strike; 1,400 workers at cereal giant Kellogg’s are on strike in Nebraska, Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Tennessee; 1,100 coal miners in Alabama have been on strike since April; 800 nurses in Massachusetts have been on strike since March; and many other strikes and strike authorizations are also unfolding. On top of that, record numbers of US workers are voluntarily quitting their jobs, in what is being called the “Great Resignation.” Something is happening here. How should we understand this pivotal moment of labor strife? And what could this moment become if the working class gets more organized and more militant?

In this segment of The Marc Steiner Show, Marc talks about Striketober, the “Great Resignation,” labor militancy, and the importance of bottom-up organizing with longtime labor organizer Alex Han. Han is a former union leader who has spent 20 years organizing in the labor movement; he is the Bargaining for the Common Good Fellow at the Kalmanovitz Initiative for Labor and the Working Poor at Georgetown University. Tune in for new episodes of The Marc Steiner Show every Tuesday on TRNN.

Pre-Production/Studio/Post Production: Stephen Frank
Oct 19, 2021
A staggering number of inmates have died in Louisiana prisons
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In the state of Louisiana, 786 inmates—none of whom were ever sentenced to death—died behind bars between 2015-2019 while serving out their prison sentences. Since Black people are already incarcerated at disproportionate rates, these deaths have been disproportionately among Black inmates. This information has not been publicly available until now, because no single authority in Louisiana is required to collect such data. When law professor Andrea Armstrong and her students took it upon themselves to conduct this research, they were shocked by what they found. In this episode of Rattling the Bars, TRNN Executive Producer Eddie Conway speaks with Armstrong about investigating the quiet horror happening inside Louisiana prisons and what can be done to stop it. Professor Armstrong joined the Loyola University New Orleans,College of Law faculty in 2010 and founded IncarcerationTransparency.org, a database that provides facility-level deaths behind bars data and analysis for Louisiana and memorializes the lives lost. She is a leading national expert on prison and jail conditions and is certified by the US Department of Justice as a Prison Rape Elimination Act auditor.
Oct 18, 2021
Striking Kellogg’s workers show the country what solidarity looks like
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Like Frito-Lay, Nabisco, John Deere, and Heaven Hill Distillery, cereal giant Kellogg’s has seen consumer demand skyrocket during the pandemic, reporting profits of $1.25 billion in 2020. To meet this demand, many workers in Kellogg’s plants around the US report pulling 12-16-hour shifts seven days a week, leaving little time for anything outside of work beyond sleep. But the creation of a two-tier employment system in 2015 has meant that newer employees in the lower “transitional tier” are earning significantly less than their coworkers for doing the same work. Demanding that the company raise the floor for all of its employees, Kellogg’s plant workers in Nebraska, Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Tennessee have been on strike since Oct. 5.

In this special video edition of Working People, TRNN Editor-in-Chief Maximillian Alvarez discusses the ongoing strike with Dan Osborn, who has worked at the Omaha, Nebraska, plant for 18 years and currently serves as president of the Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco Workers and Grain Millers International Union (BCTGM), Local 50G.

Featured Music (all songs sourced from the Free Music Archive at freemusicarchive.org):
Jules Taylor, "Working People Theme Song"
Oct 18, 2021
The battle against big landlords in Berlin is the beginning of a struggle for housing justice
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As we previously reported at The Real News, voters in Berlin were recently faced with a game-changing referendum to expropriate housing held by giant corporate landlords who have made the city increasingly unaffordable for most residents. The passing of the referendum, and the organizing that made it possible, was not only a shock but a source of hope for many around the world who have seen options for affordable housing gobbled up by vampire capitalists and large companies contributing to the runaway financialization of the housing market. How were Berliners able to take on these big landlords and pass this historic referendum? What happens now? And can Berlin provide a model for those fighting for housing justice around the world?

In this segment of The Marc Steiner Show, Marc speaks with longtime TRNN contributor Molly Shah and Berlin-based activist Ian Clotworthy about the recent referendum and the great global housing struggle to come. Ian Clotworthy is from Ireland and has lived in Berlin for about 10 years; he is active in DW Enteignen (where he represents the Right2TheCity group), DSA Berlin, and the Green New Deal for Europe. Molly Shah is a freelance writer and social media consultant based in Berlin, and she’s a regular contributor to The Real News. Prior to moving to Germany, Molly was an activist, teacher, and lawyer in Louisville, Kentucky.

Tune in for new episodes of The Marc Steiner Show every Tuesday on TRNN.
Oct 15, 2021
‘Fighting to free our people’: 55 years of the Black Panther Party
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In October of 1966, the Black Panther Party was founded in Oakland, California. Since then, the Panthers have been a driving radical force for Black liberation, self-defense, and community organization and self-determination. In this special episode of Rattling the Bars commemorating the 55th anniversary of the founding of the BPP, TRNN Executive Producer and former Lieutenant of Security for the Baltimore chapter of the Black Panther Party Eddie Conway speaks with Black Panther Party archivist Bill Jennings about the legacy of the Panthers and how people are carrying on that legacy today.
Oct 15, 2021
The COVID-19 scandal Tucker Carlson doesn’t want you to know about
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America's most popular TV host, Tucker Carlson, continues to share baseless COVID-19 conspiracy theories with his millions of Fox News viewers while comparing vaccine mandates to authoritarian overreach. In reality, though, Carlson's pushing of debunked conspiracy theories obscures the real scandal: America's high rate of vaccine hesitancy, combined with the hoarding of COVID-19 vaccines by wealthy countries like the US, all but guarantees billions in profits for vaccine manufacturers and Big Pharma for years to come. TRNN's Jaisal Noor reports.
Oct 15, 2021
Facebook’s global outage is the real supply chain threat
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Facebook had a very bad week last week. First, Frances Haugen, a former product manager at Facebook assigned to the Civic Integrity group, blew the whistle on her past employer, leaking a cache of internal company documents and testifying in front of Congress that the social media giant is knowingly and repeatedly “paying for its profits with our safety.” Then things got significantly worse when Facebook basically disappeared from the internet for 6 hours on Monday, Oct. 4. This was the biggest outage Facebook had experienced since a 2019 crash that took the site offline for over 24 hours. Facebook has said that last week’s outage was unrelated to news about the leaks and that it was the result of a routine software update gone horribly wrong. The outage, however, affected billions of people who depend on the suite of applications and services owned by Facebook that went offline, including Messenger, WhatsApp, and Instagram.

While Facebook is back online and the news cycle has largely moved on, it’s important to take a step back and examine what these outages tell us about the precariously assembled infrastructure of our digital world, our global dependence on that infrastructure, and the implications of having that infrastructure controlled by private, incredibly powerful, and voraciously profit-seeking entities like Facebook. In this interview for The Real News podcast, TRNN Editor-in-Chief Maximillian Alvarez speaks with writer, commentator, and legal services attorney Sparky Abraham, who wrote a 2020 article for Current Affairs titled “A Series of Tubes: Reclaiming the Physical Internet.”
Oct 14, 2021
There’s more riding on Democrats’ budget battle than you think
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The media circus surrounding Democrats’ internal battle over infrastructure spending and the Build Back Better Act can make us focus too intently on the individual representatives involved and ignore the bigger picture. But the fact of the matter is the lives of many Americans, our ability to seriously address the climate crisis, and the upcoming outcome of the midterm elections all hang in the balance. On this segment of The Marc Steiner Show, Marc is joined by a lively panel of guests—Max Sawicky, Karen Dolan, and Bill Fletcher Jr.—to discuss the drastic implications of the battle unfolding on Capitol Hill right now.

Max Sawicky is an economist, writer, and senior research fellow at the Center for Economic and Policy Research; he has worked at the Advisory Commission on Intergovernmental Relations, the Economic Policy Institute, and the Government Accountability Office. Karen Dolan is a fellow at the Institute for Policy Studies and currently directs the Criminalization of Race and Poverty project; her public scholarship and activism focus on anti-poverty issues, juvenile justice, criminal justice reform, and transgender rights with a focus on race, gender, and gender identity. Bill Fletcher Jr. has been an activist since his teen years and previously served as a senior staff person in the national AFL-CIO; he is the former president of TransAfrica Forum, a senior scholar with the Institute for Policy Studies, and the author of numerous works of fiction and non-fiction, including ‘They’re Bankrupting Us!’ And 20 Other Myths about Unions and The Man Who Fell from the Sky.
Tune in for new episodes of The Marc Steiner Show every Tuesday on TRNN.
Oct 12, 2021
One rural community’s last stand against the industrial farming behemoth
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We conclude our series of interviews from rural Wisconsin with farmers and community members fighting to defend life as they know it from the onslaught of Big Agriculture and the factory farming industry. As part of a special collaboration between The Real News Network and In These Times magazine for “The Wisconsin Idea,” TRNN Editor-in-Chief Maximillian Alvarez, Cameron Granadino (TRNN), and Hannah Faris (In These Times) travelled to Polk County in Western Wisconsin over the summer to speak with residents about their fight to halt—or, at least, adequately regulate—a proposed concentrated animal feeding operation (CAFO) that would house 26,000 hogs and produce millions of gallons of liquid manure every year.

In this interview, Alvarez sits down with Lisa Doerr, who has been on the front lines of this struggle and lives right down the road from where the proposed CAFO would be built. Doerr and her husband own and operate a hay farm in Polk County that supplies food for small-scale livestock farmers in the area.

Additional links/info below...
Working People, "Kristy Lynn Allen"
Working People, "Hog Wild (w/ Lisa Doerr, Forest Jahnke, Hannah Faris, & Maeve Conran)"
Maximillian Alvarez, Cameron Granadino, & Hannah Faris, The Real News Network, "Factory Farms Pose an 'Existential Threat' for Rural Wisconsin Communities"
Grace Connatser, Wisconsin State Farmer, "Documentary Captures Rural Wisconsin's Struggle with Hog CAFOs"
Maeve Conran, Just Solutions, "Rural Wisconsin Communities Battle Industrial Scale Hog Farms"
Simon Davis-Cohen, In These Times, "'In for a Fight': Rural Wisconsinites Resist Influx of Industrial Hog Facilities"

Featured Music (all songs sourced from the Free Music Archive: freemusicarchive.org):
Jules Taylor, "Working People Theme Song"
Oct 12, 2021
Pandora Papers show the US has become its own tax haven for super-rich
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There’s been a lot of news this week—so much news, in fact, that one of the biggest global stories in recent memory has seemingly gotten buried under the deluge of headlines. Just days ago, as Brett Wilkins writes, “what’s being called the ‘biggest-ever leak of offshore data’” involved the publication of “a cache of nearly 12 million documents” exposing “the hidden wealth, secret dealings, and corruption of hundreds of world leaders, billionaires, public officials, celebrities, and others.” Like the Panama Papers (2016) and the Paradise Papers (2017), the Pandora Papers leak provides definitive evidence that the super-rich are ripping all of us off, siphoning inordinate amounts of wealth away from our societies, stashing it for themselves, and using their power and influence to rig political and economic systems in their favor.

In the second segment of this week’s Marc Steiner Show, Marc and Chuck Collins from the Institute for Policy Studies walk listeners through the importance of the Pandora Papers leak, what the documents reveal, and what we can do to stop the pillaging of our societies by the super-rich. Chuck Collins is the director of the Program on Inequality and the Common Good at the Institute for Policy Studies, where he co-edits the IPS website Inequality.org. He is also the author of Born on Third Base: A One Percenter Makes the Case for Tackling Inequality, Bringing Wealth Home, and Committing to the Common Good.
Oct 08, 2021
From ‘boat people’ in the ‘70s to border refugees today, US disdain for Haitians has a long history
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Just weeks ago, as we reported previously on The Real News, onlookers in the US and around the world were horrified yet again by scenes of pain, desperation, and brutality at the US-Mexico border in Del Rio, Texas. With COVID-19 and global vaccine apartheid continuing to exacerbate a public health crisis, with continuing political turmoil following the assassination of former President Jovenel Moïse in July, and after another devastating earthquake shook the battered nation in August, thousands of Haitian refugees have been forced to leave their homes in the hope of seeking asylum in the US.

Instead of having their appeals for asylum heard and their situation recognized for the crisis of humanity that it is, these refugees were met by menacing US Border Patrol agents on horseback who rode them down and rounded them up in brutal fashion. Since then, the US government under President Joe Biden has deployed the Trump-era Title 42 policy to mass expel thousands of refugees back to Haiti without hearing their asylum claims, even though the Department of Homeland Security designated Haiti for Temporary Protected Status in May.

While the news cycle has moved on from the immediate so-called “crisis at the border,” the nightmare for Haitians and the country of Haiti is still very much ongoing. In this interview, TRNN Editor-in-Chief Maximillian Alvarez talks with Pascal Robert about the larger political context that led to the horrifying scenes at the US-Mexico border last month, and about the deep disdain, fear, and imperialist designs that have historically shaped US policy toward Haiti and its people. Pascal Robert
is an essayist and political commentator whose work covers Black politics, global affairs, and the history and politics of Haiti. He is the co-host of the podcast THIS IS REVOLUTION, a frequent contributor to the Black Agenda Report, and his writing has been featured in outlets like The Huffington Post, Alternet, and the Washington Spectator.
Oct 07, 2021
Immigration law firm uses 'gig economy' model to bludgeon union drive
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Read the transcript of this podcast: https://therealnews.com/%ef%bb%bfimmigration-law-firm-uses-gig-economy-model-to-bludgeon-union-drive

While the 'gig economy' was originally pitched as a way to boost pay and flexibility for workers, it has long been criticized as a method for companies to replace full-time workers with underpaid, overworked contractors who have fewer labor protections. And it’s not just rideshare drivers and delivery workers feeling the impact—the gig model is spreading to other industries. Right now, for instance, workers at the Hudson immigration law firm say their employer is using the gig economy model to undermine their union drive and become the first law firm to operate entirely on a contractor-based employment model.

“I’ve long worried that the exploitative practices of Uber would spread to other industries, and we see exactly that happening at Hudson Legal,” professor Veena Dubal, a leading scholar of the gig economy, told the Real News. “The decision to move to using independent contractors, instead of full-time employees, should be understood as an attack on labor rights. Not only does this bring precarity into a stable workforce, it also is a not-so-subtle restructuring to avoid having to deal with organized labor and a future union.”

In this interview for the TRNN podcast, Jaisal Noor speaks with two workers currently employed by Hudson about the company’s working conditions and union-busting efforts, as well as the ongoing organizing campaign by workers. Out of fear of reprisal from Hudson, these employees spoke with TRNN under the condition of anonymity, and their names and voices have been disguised.
Oct 07, 2021
The always-looming debt ceiling apocalypse is a ‘totally manufactured crisis’
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Just about every year, like clockwork, the issue of raising the federal debt ceiling generates apocalyptic and platitude-filled proclamations of impending doom from politicians, as well as breathless coverage by the mainstream press. Then, in the blink of an eye, lawmakers inevitably raise the debt ceiling and the issue disappears down the national memory hole as the news cycle moves on. Rest assured, the consequences of not raising the debt ceiling would be catastrophic, and with Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen warning Congress that the federal government will run out of cash and extraordinary measures by Oct. 18, the clock is ticking. So why is this issue even up for debate? Why do we need to have an apocalyptic partisan showdown almost every year over raising the debt ceiling, a procedure that used to be entirely mundane and uncontroversial?

In this interview for the TRNN podcast, Editor-in-Chief Maximillian Alvarez and political scientist Ed Burmila try to answer three basic questions for listeners: What the hell is the debt ceiling? Why is it a constant source of political anxiety? And should we care about it? Ed Burmila is a writer and political analyst whose work has appeared in outlets like The Nation, The Washington Post, Rolling Stone, The Baffler, and the Chronicle of Higher Education. He’s been publishing the popular blog ginandtacos.com since 2003, he hosts a companion podcast called Mass for Shut-Ins, and he is currently finishing a book that will be published in September 2022 with Bold Type Books on why the Democratic Party is stuck in a cycle of making the same mistakes.
Oct 06, 2021
The spiritual void at the heart of Israeli militarism
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“I identify as an Arab Jew,” Hadar Cohen recently wrote in +972 Magazine. “My family has lived in Jerusalem for over 10 generations, and my other ancestral cities include Aleppo in Syria, Baghdad in Iraq, and Shiraz in Iran, along with a small village in Kurdistan.” And yet, the Zionist project has no place for Mizrahi Jews like Cohen. “There is no space for Arabness in Zionism. I need to repress, erase, and hide my Arab lifestyle and assimilate into European notions of Jewishness.”

In the first segment of this week’s Marc Steiner Show, we bring you the latest installment of our ongoing series “Not in Our Name,” which highlights the diverse voices of Jewish activists, artists, intellectuals, and others who are speaking out against the Israeli occupation. In this installment, Marc talks with Cohen about living as an Arab Jew in Israel’s “racial caste system,” and about the crisis of
spirituality underpinning Israel’s militarist occupation. Hadar Cohen is a Mizrahi feminist multi-media artist, Jewish mystic, healer, and educator. She is the founder of Feminism All Night, a project that designs communal immersive learning experiences about feminism and spirituality.
Oct 05, 2021
IATSE members vote to authorize historic entertainment industry strike
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Tens of thousands of members of the International Association of Theatrical Stage Employees (IATSE) just voted overwhelmingly to authorize a strike. With 89.66% of eligible members participating and 98% voting to authorize the strike, the vote could lead 60,000 workers to walk off the job and bring the entertainment industry to a halt.

As consumers, we tend to associate the entertainment industry with acting stars, elite directors and producers, and big studio executives, but hundreds and and even thousands of workers make every production possible, and many of them are grossly underpaid, overworked, and denied basic necessities like breaks and time to sleep between shifts. Combined with the explosion of streaming services and ever-increasing demands for studio-quality productions, workers in the entertainment industry are being run into the ground, and they have reached a breaking point.

IATSE represents over 150,000 technicians, artisans, and craftspersons in the entertainment industry, including live theatre, motion picture and television production, broadcast, and trade shows in the United States and Canada. The union is composed of many different locals, not all of which are currently voting to authorize a strike. According to Deadline, "there are actually two separate strike authorization votes going on—one among the union’s 13 Hollywood production locals covered by the Basic Agreement, and the other covering 23 different locals outside Los Angeles who work under the Area Standards Agreement." In this urgent Working People episode, recorded on Oct. 1, while the strike authorization vote was taking place, we talk to a panel of IATSE members and hear firsthand about the work they do, the unfair working conditions they’re fighting against, and the significance of the strike vote. Panelists include Marisa Shipley (Local 871), David McMahon (Local 52), and Fae Weichsel (Local 600).

Featured Music (all songs sourced from the Free Music Archive freemusicarchive.org):
Jules Taylor, "Working People Theme Song"
Oct 04, 2021
The corporate consolidation of farming is a threat to us all
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A proposed concentrated animal feeding operation (CAFO) in Burnett County, Wisconsin, is slated to house 26,000 hogs and produce millions of gallons of liquid manure every year. Residents fear the irreparable damage a facility of that size could do to their air, land, and waterways, as well as to their property values and the local economy. But a diverse coalition of farmers, community members, and environmental advocates are fighting back to protect their homes, their ways of life, and what remains of the independent farming economy. As part of a special collaboration between The Real News Network and In These Times magazine for “The Wisconsin Idea,” Max, Cameron Granadino (TRNN), and Hannah Faris (In These Times) traveled to Burnett County over the summer to speak with residents about their concerns and about their struggles against Big Agriculture and the factory farming industry.

In this interview, Max talks with local farmer and beekeeper Kristy Lynn Allen about the damage the industrialization and corporate consolidation of farming has done to agriculture in general, and about the damage the new CAFO would do specifically to farmers like her. Allen is the founder of The Beez Kneez, LLC, and serves as president of the local chapter of the Wisconsin Farmers Union.

Working People, "Hog Wild (w/ Lisa Doerr, Forest Jahnke, Hannah Faris, & Maeve Conran)"

Maximillian Alvarez, Cameron Granadino, & Hannah Faris, The Real News Network, "Factory Farms Pose an 'Existential Threat' for Rural Wisconsin Communities"

Maeve Conran, Just Solutions, "Rural Wisconsin Communities Battle Industrial Scale Hog Farms"

Simon Davis-Cohen, In These Times, "'In for a Fight': Rural Wisconsinites Resist Influx of Industrial Hog Facilities"

Featured Music (all songs sourced from the Free Music Archive freemusicarchive.org): Jules Taylor, "Working People Theme Song"
Oct 04, 2021
Kneeling on the shoulders of giants: Dave Zirin on ‘The Kaepernick Effect’
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It’s been five years since then-NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick (in)famously kneeled during the national anthem in protest of the systemic oppression of Black people and people of color in the US. "I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color," Kaepernick famously explained. "To me, this is bigger than football and it would be selfish on my part to look the other way. There are bodies in the street and people getting paid leave and getting away with murder."

In his new book, The Kaepernick Effect: Taking a Knee, Changing the World, author Dave Zirin explores the historical valences of Kaepernick’s game-changing protest—from the long tradition of athletes making powerful political statements that preceded Kaepernick to the many athletes who have been inspired by Kaepernick and are carrying on that tradition today. In this installment of The Marc Steiner Show, Marc talks with Zirin about his new book and the political and cultural significance of “The Kaepernick Effect.” Dave Zirin is the sports editor for The Nation, where he also hosts The Nation’s Edge of Sports podcast. Along with The Kaepernick Effect, he is the author of ten books on the politics of sports and a frequent guest on ESPN, MSNBC, and Democracy Now!

Tune in for new segments of The Marc Steiner Show every Tuesday and Friday on TRNN
Oct 01, 2021
Cop wrote a bogus $2500 ticket for changing lanes too close, but he wasn't ready for what happened next
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In this episode of the Police Accountability Report, we provide breaking updates for several critical cases we’ve been covering for months, including a surprising development in the case of Daniel Alvarez, who received a $2500 ticket for changing lanes from a San Bernardino sheriff who had racially profiled him.

We also report on new developments in the felony camping charges against the popular cop watcher Otto the Watchdog, along with the ongoing case against the first Black police chief of a small town on Maryland’s Lower Eastern Shore.
Oct 01, 2021
What is Afghanistan’s future after US withdrawal? (Part II)
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In Part II of this extended interview on the history and aftermath of the 20-year US war in Afghanistan, TRNN contributor Radhika Desai and Melkulangara Bhadrakumar discuss the future of Afghanistan and how Russia, China, Iran, and Pakistan are filling the geopolitical vacuum left by US withdrawal.

A former career diplomat in the Indian Foreign Service for three decades, MK Bhadrakumar was stationed in the former Soviet Union as well as South Korea, Sri Lanka, Germany, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Uzbekistan, Kuwait, and Turkey. After retiring from his last post, he has been a prominent writer and analyst, focusing on India’s foreign policy as well as regional and global affairs, particularly relating to China, Russia, Central Asia, the Middle East, and South Asia.
Sep 29, 2021
‘A war that could never be won’: An autopsy of the US war in Afghanistan (Part I)
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For many around the world who consider the United States to be all powerful, the ignominious end to the war in Afghanistan, the harried withdrawal of US troops, and the swift takeover by the Taliban were shocking sights to behold. While horrifying images of Afghans desperately trying to flee the capital city of Kabul have gradually faded from the news cycle, many crucial questions still need to be answered. What was the 20-year war really about? How credible is the US claim that its withdrawal from Afghanistan is part of a larger foreign policy shift to focusing on the “China challenge”? What future lies ahead for the people of Afghanistan and the Taliban? And how are Afghanistan’s neighbors, including Russia, China, Iran, and Pakistan, responding to the US withdrawal?

In Part I of this extended interview, TRNN contributor Radhika Desai and Melkulangara Bhadrakumar dissect the history and aftermath of the US war in Afghanistan. A former career diplomat in the Indian Foreign Service for three decades, MK Bhadrakumar was stationed in the former Soviet Union as well as South Korea, Sri Lanka, Germany, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Uzbekistan, Kuwait, and Turkey. After retiring from his last post, he has been a prominent writer and analyst, focusing on India’s foreign policy as well as regional and global affairs, particularly relating to China, Russia, Central Asia, the Middle East, and South Asia.
Sep 29, 2021
Biden’s spending bill, infrastructure, and a looming government shutdown: What the hell is going on?
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Even people who follow DC politics closely are struggling to keep up with this week’s political drama. Between a looming government shutdown, the need to raise the debt ceiling by next month, and the Democrats’ intra-party fight over infrastructure and the Build Back Better Act, a tangled political mess is unfolding on Capitol Hill—and the results will directly impact the lives of everyday people. In this installment of The Marc Steiner Show, Sarah Anderson of the Institute for Policy Studies joins Marc to break the situation down in clear terms and to tell listeners how to contact their senators and representatives to voice their opinions. Anderson directs the Global Economy Project at the Institute for Policy Studies and is a co-editor of the IPS web site Inequality.org

Tune in for new segments of The Marc Steiner Show every Tuesday and Friday on TRNN.
Sep 29, 2021
If the US wants fewer Haitian refugees, it should stop destroying Haiti
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Last week, onlookers in the US and around the world were horrified to see US Border Patrol’s inhumane treatment of Haitian refugees attempting to cross the US-Mexico border to seek asylum. Committing “human rights violations” that have been condemned worldwide, US Border Patrol and the Biden administration are denying thousands of Haitians their internationally recognized right to seek asylum and utilizing a despicable Trump-era policy to mass expel refugees—with truly dizzying scope and speed—back to the same country it marked for Temporary Protected Status only months ago. This whole saga has made clear once again that the cruelty of US “immigration policy” and enforcement is unabashedly bipartisan. Moreover, it is a reminder that Haitians will continue to be denied basic humanitarian support from countries like the US which are directly and indirectly responsible for many of the crises plaguing Haiti.

To discuss these issues, TRNN Editor-in-Chief Maximillian Alvarez speaks with Dr. Ron Daniels, founder and president of the Institute of the Black World 21st Century and founder of the Haiti Support Project.
Sep 27, 2021
As Delta surges in prisons, states stop sharing statistics with the public
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As we’ve covered previously on Rattling the Bars, prisons in the US have been a major source of COVID-19 infections throughout the pandemic, and experts have suggested that the reality is even worse than the limited data have shown. Now, as the more contagious Delta variant causes another surge in cases in prisons around the country, certain states have stopped sharing infection statistics with the public, and there is less transparency and oversight than ever before.

In this episode of Rattling the Bars, TRNN Executive Producer Eddie Conway speaks with professors Kathryn M. Nowotny and Zinzi Bailey of the COVID Prison Project about the concerning reality that we simply don’t have good information about COVID-19 infections and deaths connected to the prison system. Kathryn M. Nowotny is an assistant professor in the Department of Sociology at the University of Miami and is a co-lead investigator and co-founder of the COVID Prison Project; Zinzi Bailey is a research assistant professor at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine and project investigator for the COVID Prison Project.
Sep 27, 2021
A hotel got $2.5 million in PPP loans but still laid off 100 workers. The workers are fighting back.
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On Sep. 22, dozens rallied in support of over 100 workers who were laid off from the Merriweather Lakehouse Hotel in Columbia, Maryland, even though their hotel received millions of dollars from the federal government to keep them on payroll during the COVID-19 pandemic. Joining together with community supporters, UNITE HERE, a union that represents hospitality workers (98% of whom were laid off during the pandemic nationwide), is calling on the hotel's owner to rehire all 111 laid-off workers. In this special report, TRNN’s Jaisal Noor speaks with Ty Hughes, a UNITE HERE Local 7 member who has worked at the Merriweather Lakehouse Hotel for 17 years and is fighting to get his job back.
Sep 24, 2021
Canada’s big, fat, expensive, nothing-burger election
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The past month has been filled with anxious predictions and endless punditry concerning Canada’s snap election, which was called by Liberal Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and took place on Sept. 20. With a whopping total of 600 million Canadian dollars spent, the election was the most costly in Canada’s history, yet voter turnout was nearly at an all-time low and the net results left the political landscape looking practically the same as before. What was the point? What has changed? And what opportunities, if any, do the election results provide for progressives in Canada?

In this installment of The Marc Steiner Show, Dimitri Lascaris joins Marc to break down the election results and to discuss how to break the iron grip of political stagnation in Canada. Lascaris is a
lawyer, journalist, activist, and he was a candidate in the federal Green Party leadership race in Canada, finishing second with just over 10,000 votes. He is also a longtime contributor and current board member at The Real News.

Tune in for new segments of The Marc Steiner Show every Tuesday and Friday on TRNN.
Sep 24, 2021
New evidence in police killing reveals just how brutal small town cops can be
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Content warning: Some images and details in this episode are graphic and disturbing.

This week on PAR, we continue our ongoing investigation into the problem of rural overpolicing and provide a critical update on the killing of Tyler Rushing, which we reported on earlier in the year. Rushing’s case is yet another stark example of cops ignoring the needs of a civilian experiencing mental distress; instead, police brutally deployed a K-9, which bit him repeatedly, before shooting Rushing in the back of the head. Now, a police expert is speaking out, casting doubt on every action officers took the night Rushing died and raising more questions about the use of force by law enforcement and the untold consequences of abusing it.
Sep 24, 2021
The industrial farming monster that devoured rural America
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Over the summer, TRNN Editor-in-Chief Maximillian Alvarez traveled to Wisconsin to report on a crucial struggle that has been largely ignored by corporate media. Residents of rural Polk, Burnett, and Crawford counties in Western Wisconsin have been embroiled in battles over the proposed construction of industrial "hog factories" in their communities, which would collectively house roughly 34,000 hogs. These concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs) would also produce millions and millions of gallons of liquid manure a year, and residents fear they could cause irreversible damage to their land, air, water, property values, and ways of life.

What's happening in Wisconsin is part of a larger historical shift that has seen Big Agriculture and factory farming take over an industry that used to be dominated by small and mid-sized farms. The government-aided rise of industrial agriculture and meat production has pushed the independent farmers who still remain in operation today to the brink of extinction. As part of a special collaboration between The Real News Network and In These Times magazine for “The Wisconsin Idea,” Alvarez, Cameron Granadino (TRNN), and Hannah Faris (In These Times) went to Crawford, Polk, and Burnett counties to speak with residents about their concerns and about their struggles to defend themselves against Big Agriculture and the factory farming industry. You can watch their full documentary report here: https://therealnews.com/factory-farms-pose-an-existential-threat-for-rural-wisconsin-communities.

In this special Working People episode, we follow up on the reporting Alvarez, Granadino, and Faris did over the summer and speak with a panel of folks who were involved with producing and publishing those reports. We also update listeners on the ongoing struggles in Polk, Burnett, and Crawford counties to halt—or, at least, adequately regulate—the proposed CAFOs. Guests on this panel include: Forest Jahnke, Program Coordinator for the Crawford Stewardship Project; Lisa Doerr, an independent hay farmer & resident of Polk County; Hannah Faris, associate editor of "The Wisconsin Idea" at In These Times; and Maeve Conran, Program Director for Free Speech TV and host of Just Solutions.
Sep 21, 2021
Cuba & the US: A tale of two prison systems
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In this episode of Rattling the Bars, TRNN Executive Producer and former Black Panther Eddie Conway discusses the differences between prisons in Cuba and in the United States. Of the two, only one incarcerates children, only one deliberately isolates prisoners from their families and communities, and only one uses long-term solitary confinement as a routine punishment—and it's not Cuba. "In Cuba you don't have solitary confinement," Conway says. "Because that's inhumane."
Sep 21, 2021
America is addicted to bullshit crimes, and the six-year prosecution of a Black police chief proves it
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Recent developments in a criminal case against a popular Black police chief reveal just how focused American law enforcement is on "bullshit" crimes. The prosecution of Kelvin Sewell for his role in an investigation involving two parked cars has dragged on for nearly six years. Now prosecutors face a hearing over alleged misconduct, but the fact that Sewell was indicted at all raises serious questions about how much law enforcement in America is about projecting inequitable power.
Sep 20, 2021
Cops lied to get into their home, but their own bodycam caught the truth
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As Brad Naylor and his brother slept in their parents' home, they were surprised to hear their door kicked open and see guns drawn at 5:00 in the morning. According to the police report, the smell of marijuana lead these officers to enter a home without a warrant and without the consent of the owners. In this episode of PAR, we examine this terrifying experience as another example of the phenomenon of overpolicing, and we explore the high social, political, and financial costs it exacts from small-town America.
Sep 17, 2021
No justice? No bourbon! Distillery workers in Kentucky go on strike
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Around 400 union distillery workers in Bardstown, Kentucky, hit the picket line yesterday after rejecting a contract offer from Heaven Hill Distilleries, which included healthcare price hikes that reduce take-home pay, cuts to overtime, and drastic scheduling changes. Heaven Hill produces some of the most popular bourbon brands in the world, including Evan Williams, Elijah Craig, and Old Fitzgerald. According to the website Inc. Fact, the company averages annual profits of over $500 million.

In this mini-cast, we talk with Matt Aubrey, president of UFCW Local 23D, to get an update on the strike and workers’ demands.

Additional links/info below...

Bruce Schreiner, AP News, "Big Bourbon Producer Heaven Hill Faces Strike in Kentucky"
WLKY, "Employees on Strike at Heaven Hill in Bardstown Demanding Better Working Conditions"
Inc. Fact, "Heaven Hill Distilleries: Revenue, Growth & Competitor Profile"

Featured Music (all songs sourced from the Free Music Archive: freemusicarchive.org):
Jules Taylor, "Working People Theme Song"
Sep 14, 2021
Endless militarization has bled US society dry
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It’s been 20 years since the 9/11 terrorist attacks. Since then, the US has channeled an unfathomable amount of its resources into the military-industrial complex, accelerating its metamorphosis into a nonstop engine of war and militarization with a decaying civil society attached to it. For the past 20 years, as the authors of a bombshell report by the National Priorities Project at the Institute for Policy Studies have estimated, endless militarization since 9/11 has cost the US a staggering $21 trillion. In the first segment of this week’s Marc Steiner Show, we talk with Lindsay Koshgarian, program director for the National Priorities Project at the Institute for Policy Studies, and one of the co-authors of the report, which is titled State of Insecurity: The Cost of Militarization Since 9/11.


Tune in for new segments of The Marc Steiner Show every Tuesday and Friday on TRNN.
Sep 14, 2021
Management bullied Ohio Kroger worker to suicide, lawsuit says
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(Content Warning: bullying, harassment, suicide.)
Evan Seyfried was a loving son, brother, and friend, and a dedicated worker. For 19 years, with a virtually spotless record, Evan worked at a local Kroger grocery store in Milford, Ohio, where he eventually became the dairy department manager. From October 2020 to March 2021, however, Evan suffered a torturous litany of bullying, harassment, and sabotage, according to a lawsuit filed by the Seyfried family. As the lawsuit alleges, it was this treatment, which was the result of a "conspiracy" involving numerous actors, including management-level supervisors at the Milford store, that caused Evan to eventually suffer a "transient episodic break" and take his own life. In this episode, we talk with Evan's mother Linda, his father Ken, and his brother Eric about the beautiful person he was, the horrific treatment he endured, and the need to hold those who wronged him accountable.


Featured Music (all songs sourced from the Free Music Archive: freemusicarchive.org): Squire Truck, “A Journey into the Great Unknown”
Sep 13, 2021
Israel exposes the lie that nationalism keeps us safe
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In the second segment of this week’s Marc Steiner Show, we bring you the latest installment of our ongoing series “Not in Our Name,” which highlights the diverse voices of Jewish activists, artists, intellectuals, and others who are speaking out against the Israeli occupation. For this installment, Marc is joined once again by author and activist Shane Burley to examine a recent article Burley wrote for Tikkun magazine, “Jew-Hating Is Never About Jews.” In a crucial, cross-generational discussion, Marc and Burley explore changing attitudes among Jewish leftists not only regarding the violence of Israeli occupation, but regarding the existence of the Israeli state as an essential piece of Jewish identity. Shane Burley is the author of Why We Fight: Essays on Fascism, Resistance, and Surviving the Apocalypse (AK Press, 2021) and Fascism Today: What It Is and How to End It (AK Press, 2017). His work has appeared in a range of outlets including NBC News, Jacobin, Al Jazeera, The Baffler, The Daily Beast, Truthout, In These Times, and Protean magazine


Tune in for new segments of The Marc Steiner Show every Tuesday and Friday on TRNN.
Sep 10, 2021
A man was tasered in his own driveway, but cops weren't finished with him
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Surveillance footage reveals police assaulting an unarmed man on his own property. While the use of force in the video is shocking on its own, what is even more shocking is the fact that the state of Texas is currently threatening the victim with 10 years in prison. On this week's PAR, we take an in-depth look into the common practice of stacking charges to intimidate citizens into taking plea deals, as well as the lack of accountability for aggressive police tactics that violate people's civil rights. We also examine the possibility that police may have targeted the victim in question for previously posting a YouTube video that exposed excessive force.
Sep 09, 2021
Weary South Carolina teachers return to classrooms as COVID-19 pummels state
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For many around the country, the new school year has already begun. And many districts are pushing forward with in-person schooling, even though we are in the midst of another COVID-19 spike, with new cases around the country rising to their highest point since January. Large swathes of the population are still unvaccinated, including 50 million children nationwide under the age of 12. Combined with the fact that vaccine and mask mandates have become another contentious subject of culture war hysteria and with the more contagious Delta variant causing a critical mass of new hospitalizations, school districts around the country appear to be on yet another collision course with COVID-19 that will likely lead to panicked returns to remote learning.

This week on Working People, we talk with Casey Scully, a former elementary school teacher and current high school math interventionist in Charleston, South Carolina—a state that is second only to Tennessee in terms of new COVID-19 cases. We discuss the path that led Casey to become an educator, how she has navigated the past year and a half, and what she and her coworkers are currently experiencing with schools reopening.

Additional links/info below...

Casey's Twitter page
Dan Levin, The New York Times, "The U.S. Reaches a Daily Average of 100,000 Covid Hospitalizations for the First Time Since the Winter Peak"
Tina Hesman Saey, ScienceNews, "Schools Are Reopening. COVID-19 Is Still Here. What Does That Mean for Kids?"
Jeff Amy, AP News, "Schools Reopen with Masks Optional in Many US Classrooms"
AP News, "COVID: S. Carolina School District Back to Virtual Classes"
The New York Times, "Tracking Coronavirus in South Carolina: Latest Map and Case Count"

Featured Music (all songs sourced from the Free Music Archive: freemusicarchive.org)
Jules Taylor, "Working People Theme Song"
Jules Taylor, "Carolina King"
Sep 08, 2021
The left needs bigger victories besides 'consciousness raising'
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Author and activist Shane Burley has observed and reported on the movements of the far right for many years, including the recent violent demonstrations by Proud Boys and other right-wing groups in Portland, Oregon. In the first installment of this week’s Marc Steiner Show, Burley issues a dire warning: The far right is continually working to recruit people who have been disaffected by capitalism and harness their rage for reactionary ends. To stave off the violent threats posed by the far right and build real political power, the left needs to find ways to tangibly improve people's lives. Shane Burley is the author of Why We Fight: Essays on Fascism, Resistance, and Surviving the Apocalypse (AK Press, 2021) and Fascism Today: What It Is and How to End It (AK Press, 2017). His work has appeared in a range of outlets including NBC News, Jacobin, Al Jazeera, The Baffler, The Daily Beast, Truthout, In These Times, and Protean magazine.


Tune in for new segments of The Marc Steiner Show every Tuesday and Friday on TRNN.
Sep 07, 2021
Make May Day Labor Day again
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Back in May, TRNN Editor-in-Chief Maximillian Alvarez joined a special crossover panel hosted by the Srsly Wrong podcast on the radical history of May Day (International Workers’ Day). In this wide-ranging discussion, the panel also discussed how the US holiday of Labor Day was deliberately established over a century ago as a way to celebrate workers and the accomplishments of the labor movement without invoking the revolutionary spirit of May Day. To celebrate Labor Day this year while honoring the radical roots and the ongoing struggle of the international workers’ movement, we are sharing this conversation on the TRNN podcast feed for listeners.
Sep 06, 2021
The deadly results of DeSantis’s ‘own the libs’ governing strategy
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For the state of Florida, August saw the highest number of COVID-19-related deaths since the very beginning of the pandemic. And yet, Gov. Ron DeSantis is continuing his crusade against mask mandates in schools, appealing a judge’s ruling that his office’s blanket ban on mask mandates is unenforceable. As we have covered previously on The Marc Steiner Show, DeSantis has cruelly demonstrated what it looks like when rightwing culture-war paranoia is translated into state policy. But how are Democrats fighting back? In this installment of The Marc Steiner Show, we talk with Florida State Representative Anna Eskamani about how Democrats can’t just be against the right—they have to stand up for something and do the work to build grassroots support. Eskamani is a member of the Florida House of Representatives, representing the 47th district in Orange County.

Tune in for new segments of The Marc Steiner Show every Tuesday and Friday on TRNN.
Sep 03, 2021
Care workers have gone through hell for us—will we show up for them?
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The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has thrown America’s deeply dysfunctional system of caregiving into sharp relief: overcrowded and understaffed nursing homes account for a third of all COVID-19 deaths in the US. ICUs have been stretched to capacity while nurses, doctors, and other healthcare professionals—already beset by a nursing shortage prior to the pandemic—face high levels of burnout. And, of course, last year’s school and daycare closures put severe strains on many parents, particularly women, who have had to navigate 24/7 childcare while simultaneously trying to work their jobs, either remotely or in-person. Add to this the fact that care work has been the fastest-growing labor sector in the US, and it’s clear that any labor movement that is serious about building working-class power must be committed to organizing and fighting for care workers. But what does such a movement look like in practice? And how can we merge the struggles of care workers today with those of workers in other labor sectors.

As part of a special collaboration with Jacobin magazine, TRNN Editor-in-Chief Maximillian Alvarez joined hosts of The Jacobin Show Jen Pan and Paul Prescod for an extended episode examining the past, present, and future of the American labor movement. In this segment from the show, Pan explores the unique and varied struggles care workers face today, the importance of building a labor movement that includes care workers, and the ongoing fights by care workers in places like Worcester, Massachusetts, where 800 nurses at St. Vincent Hospital have been on strike since early March. We are sharing this segment with our TRNN audience with permission from Jacobin.

Subscribe to the Jacobin YouTube channel and tune in every week for new episodes of The Jacobin Show.
Sep 02, 2021
The Texas abortion ban is even more extreme than you think
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Texas just enacted the strictest anti-abortion law in the country. Senate Bill 8, which went into effect at midnight on Sept. 1, effectively bans abortions after six weeks into a pregnancy, before most people who can give birth know they’re pregnant. One harrowing feature of the bill is that it deputizes private citizens as vigilante enforcers of the law, enabling them to sue anyone they believe to have “aided or abetted” someone getting an abortion after six weeks.

On Wednesday night, just before midnight, the US Supreme Court declined to block the law based on an emergency application for a writ of injunction filed by abortion rights groups, securing a major victory for anti-choice conservatives. TRNN Editor-in-Chief Maximillian Alvarez speaks with writer and longtime TRNN contributor Molly Shah about the implications of Senate Bill 8 and how it fits into the larger conservative onslaught on abortion rights.
Sep 02, 2021
We are living in the hell Ronald Reagan made
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Last month marked the grim anniversary of one of the darkest days in American labor history. Forty years ago, President Ronald Regan crushed a strike by the Professional Air Traffic Controllers Organization (PATCO), fired over 11,000 federal workers, and declared “open season” on the labor movement. In the years that followed, replacing striking workers became a commonplace practice in the private sector, union membership declined to historic lows, the wealth and power of the 1% exploded while real wages for most workers have remained stagnant, despite workers in the US being more productive than ever. The breaking of the PATCO strike was an event that played an outsized role in shaping the world we are living in today—a world in which a once-strong labor movement had its back broken, leaving working people to be systematically stripped of their individual will to exercise their rights in the workplace and their collective ability to protect themselves from being crushed into subservience by the profit-seeking prerogatives of the business class.

As part of a special collaboration with Jacobin magazine, TRNN Editor-in-Chief Maximillian Alvarez joined hosts of The Jacobin Show Jen Pan and Paul Prescod for an extended episode examining the past, present, and future of the American labor movement. In this segment from the show, Alvarez breaks down the historical significance and political legacy of Reagan breaking the PATCO strike. We are sharing this segment with our TRNN audience with permission from Jacobin.

Subscribe to the Jacobin YouTube channel and tune in every week for new episodes of The Jacobin Show: https://www.youtube.com/c/JacobinMag

And, of course, become a monthly sustainer of our work at TRNN: https://therealnews.com/donate
Sep 02, 2021
Big Pharma is trying to scare you so they can gouge you even more for lifesaving drugs
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The pharmaceutical industry is pushing back dramatically on a recent move from Congress that would allow Medicare to negotiate drug prices. TRNN examines a controversial ad that features a diabetic senior citizen fearful she will lose access to insulin if the measure is passed, and shows why the misleading video is just a small example of how Big Pharma uses propaganda and money to bend the political system, protecting a price structure that leaves Americans rationing medication.
Sep 01, 2021
US economic war on Cuba continues, even after war in Afghanistan ends
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As the 20-year war in Afghanistan officially came to an end, President Joe Biden justified US military withdrawal in an address to the nation on Aug. 31: “This decision about Afghanistan is not just about Afghanistan. It’s about ending an era of major military operations to remake other countries.” While these remarks suggest a potential reckoning with the longstanding US policy of imperialist intervention around the world, increased US sanctions on Cuba demonstrate that such intervention persists in the form of economic warfare. From the dire strain US sanctions have put on the Cuban economy to the corporate media frenzy that exploited protests in Cuba this summer as a justification for interventionist “regime change,” it is clear that efforts by the US to “remake other countries” are not ending anytime soon.

TRNN contributor Radhika Desai is joined by Arnold August to discuss the protests in Cuba, the media narratives about the protests, and the prospects that the Biden administration will succeed in exploiting Cuba’s current troubles to achieve its interventionist ends. August is a Montreal-based author, journalist, lecturer, and the author of multiple books on Cuba, including Democracy in Cuba and the 1997–98 Elections, Cuba and Its Neighbours: Democracy in Motion, and Cuba–U.S. Relations: Obama and Beyond.
Sep 01, 2021
The life and times of a ‘revolutionary hillbilly’
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Hy Thurman is one of the founding members of the Young Patriots, a radical group of mostly white working-class Appalachians who, together with the Black Panthers and the Young Lords, formed the first Rainbow Coalition in Chicago. Fifty years later, and 100 years after the Battle of Blair Mountain, how can we revive the revolutionary spirit of radical Appalachia and carry on its legacy today? In this installment of The Marc Steiner Show, Marc chats with Thurman about his book Revolutionary Hillbilly: Notes from the Struggle on the Edge of the Rainbow, how the Young Patriots formed, and the enduring lessons of the Rainbow Coalition. Along with being a lifetime community organizer and co-founder of the Young Patriot Organization, Thurman is the founder and president of the North Alabama School for Organizers.

Tune in for new segments of The Marc Steiner Show every Tuesday and Friday on TRNN.
Sep 01, 2021
Remembering Gloria Richardson
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TRNN Executive Producer and former Black Panther Eddie Conway talks to author and activist Dominque Conway about Gloria Richardson, a fierce activist who led a multi-year campaign against segregation in Cambridge, Md. Richardson, who died July 15, 2021, was not as widely known as other civil rights leaders like Martin Luther King Jr. or Fannie Lou Hamer. Nevertheless, she was an important figure in the story of the struggle for civil rights both in the United States and all over the globe.
Aug 31, 2021
Trudeau’s call for a snap election in Canada could seriously backfire
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On Aug. 15, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau called for a snap election, which is set to take place later next month on Sept. 20. According to Trudeau, the rationale behind this move is to secure a new mandate for his Liberal government's plan to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic, but many fear the move is a big political risk that could backfire. And early polls already show that the race is tighter than Trudea and the Liberal party would have liked.


This week on the TRNN podcast, Editor-in-Chief Maximillian Alvarez and Dimitri Lascaris break down what's happening, what the possible outcomes are, and what implications this election could have for working people and progressives in Canada. Lascaris is a lawyer, journalist, activist, and he was a candidate in the federal Green Party leadership race in Canada, finishing second with just over 10,000 votes. He is also a longtime contributor and current board member at The Real News.
Aug 30, 2021
The domestic ‘war on terror’ is giving the FBI more unchecked power
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A disturbing Buzzfeed report revealed that the FBI played a leading role in orchestrating the same far-right terrorist plot against Michigan governor Gretchen Whitmer that it was praised for foiling. Moreover, the incident has been used as a pretext to give the FBI even more power than it had before—power that it has used and will continue to use to crack down on the left. In the second installment of this week’s Marc Steiner Show, as part of our monthly collaboration with Jacobin magazine, we talk with Branko Marcetic about his recent Jacobin piece “The FBI’s Domestic ‘War on Terror’ Is an Authoritarian Power Grab.” Marcetic is a Jacobin staff writer based in Toronto, Canada, and the author of Yesterday's Man: The Case Against Joe Biden.

Tune in for new segments of The Marc Steiner Show every Tuesday and Friday on TRNN.
Aug 27, 2021
The journalist who won’t give up on Alabama’s striking coal miners
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Over 1,100 union coal miners in Brookwood, Alabama, have been on an unfair labor practices strike against Warrior Met Coal for over five months. And for five months, the mainstream media has barely made a peep about the strike. Instead, a small collection of independent journalists and local and progressive media outlets have been working overtime to cover this important story, including Jacob Morrison, David Story, and Adam Keller at The Valley Labor Report (Alabama's only weekly labor radio talk show). There is one person, however, who has done more than anyone to lift the strike at Warrior Met into public consciousness for over five months straight, and that is independent journalist Kim Kelly. In Part II of our special Working People update on the miners' strike at Warrior Met, Jacob Morrison from The Valley Labor Report guest hosts a wide-ranging conversation with Kelly about her labor and writing background, her experience covering the Amazon union drive and the Warrior Met strike in Alabama, and what it means to truly be invested in the people and struggles we cover in labor media.
Aug 25, 2021
Even when fighting the far right, the FBI is not your friend
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When it comes to the extremist violence and anti-democratic, even fascistic, designs of the far right, the threat goes much deeper than visible groups like the Proud Boys. Out of fear and a desire to protect those who are most vulnerable to these threats, some well-meaning allies have shown a troubling willingness to align themselves with repressive institutions like the FBI. But history has shown time and again that such institutions are not on the side of the progressive left or the working class, author and activist Shane Burley argues. In the first installment of this week’s Marc Steiner Show, Marc and Burley discuss the inner workings of the far right today and the need to counteract the reactionary threats it poses by organizing at the grassroots level and building robust community protection networks. Shane Burley is the author of Why We Fight: Essays on Fascism, Resistance, and Surviving the Apocalypse (AK Press, 2021) and Fascism Today: What It Is and How to End It (AK Press, 2017). His work has appeared in a range of outlets including NBC News, Jacobin, Al Jazeera, The Baffler, The Daily Beast, Truthout, In These Times, and Protean magazine.

Tune in for new segments of The Marc Steiner Show every Tuesday and Friday on TRNN.
Aug 24, 2021
Eddie Conway: Slave labor has always been the bedrock of capitalism
3627
In recent episodes of Rattling the Bars, TRNN’s weekly show on the violence and victims of the prison-industrial complex, legendary Black Panther and longtime political prisoner Eddie Conway and his guests have examined the 13th Amendment, the exploitation of prisoner slave labor in the US today, and the people who are fighting to put an end to this barbaric practice for good. As a crucial follow-up to this important coverage, Conway was recently interviewed by Robert Scheer on his syndicated podcast Scheer Intelligence, which features “thoughtful and provocative conversations with ‘American Originals’—people who, through a lifetime of engagement with political issues, offer unique and often surprising perspectives on the day's most important issues.” For this week’s installment of Rattling the Bars, we are sharing the full conversation between Conway and Scheer on the TRNN podcast feed, in which they discuss the role slave labor has played in constructing the modern capitalist economy, even up to our present day. (This conversation was originally published on Scheer Intelligence on August 13, 2021, and is republished here with permission.)
Aug 23, 2021
High-rise window cleaners risk their lives every day—now they’re on strike
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Rappelling down skyscrapers to clean windows is already a very dangerous job. But during the COVID-19 pandemic, high-rise window cleaners with SEIU Local 26 in Minneapolis were also sent into office buildings to disinfect "hot spots" where outbreaks had occurred, resulting in many workers contracting the disease. Now, after their previous contract expired, 40 window cleaners have walked off the job, demanding pay increases, reduced health care costs, as well as a state-recognized apprenticeship program that would guarantee better training and safety measures for workers in their trade. In this mini-cast, we talk with Eric Crone, a window cleaner who works for Columbia Building Services and union steward.

Featured Music (all songs sourced from the Free Music Archive: freemusicarchive.org): Jules Taylor, "Working People Theme Song"
Aug 23, 2021
A cop kicked a compliant man in the head, then police tried to cover it up
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The brutal assault on a suspect after a high-speed chase that was captured by a security camera reveals how police have many hidden mechanisms to skirt accountability. In this episode, PAR examines not just the circumstances surrounding the attack on a man who was complying with police orders, but how law enforcement used questionable tactics to limit their own liability for what happened.

Help us continue producing Police Accountability Report by following us and making a small donation:

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Aug 23, 2021
Twenty-year war? More like 42 years
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Nearly twenty years after the beginning of the US War in Afghanistan, tens of thousands of lives have been lost, trillions of dollars have been spent, and the Taliban has taken control of the country. What was it all for? Will the US public do anything to disrupt the violent machine of permanent war, care for the veterans whose lives have been forever changed, or atone for the devastation wrought in our name on the people of Afghanistan? This week on The Marc Steiner Show, we continue our crucial and urgent series of conversations about the US War in Afghanistan, the world-historical failure of the “War on Terror,” and the future of the Afghan people.



On Aug. 9, 2021, with the withdrawal of US troops from Afghanistan underway and the Taliban’s takeover just days away, Marc spoke with US veteran Matthew Hoh about the catastrophic scene the world was watching unfold. Then, on Aug. 19th, after the Taliban had taken Kabul and announced the dawn of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan, Marc spoke with Hoh again about the events of the past week and about the true scope of America’s failure in the region, which goes back over 40 years. Matthew Hoh is a disabled Marine combat veteran, senior fellow at the Center for International Policy, and member of the Eisenhower Media Initiative.


Tune in for new segments of The Marc Steiner Show every Tuesday and Friday on TRNN.


Aug 20, 2021
Why I’m not leaving Afghanistan
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Scenes of panic and chaos in the capital city of Kabul have played on repeat around the world as the withdrawal of US troops in Afghanistan has precipitated the swift fall of the government and the Taliban’s takeover of the country. With much fear, anger, and uncertainty throughout the country, it is an open question what the future will hold for Afghans under Taliban rule in the wake of the devastation wrought by the US and its allies over the 20th and 21st centuries. This week on The Marc Steiner Show, we begin a crucial and urgent series of conversations about the US war in Afghanistan, the world-historical failure of the “War on Terror,” and the future of the Afghan people.


On Aug. 9, 2021, with the Taliban’s takeover just days away, Marc spoke with journalist Ali M. Latifi from Kabul about the scene in the city and the Kafka-esque nightmare facing Afghan citizens trying to find refuge in the US or elsewhere. Then, on Aug. 16, after the Taliban had taken Kabul and announced the dawn of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan, Marc spoke with Latifi again about the events of the past week and why he is not trying to flee his country. In this segment of The Marc Steiner Show, we feature both of these important interviews in chronological order. Ali M. Latifi is an online journalist with Al Jazeera English based in Kabul, reporting on Afghanistan, migration, and refugee issues.


Tune in for new segments of The Marc Steiner Show every Tuesday and Friday on TRNN.


Aug 17, 2021
Remembering George Jackson, revolutionary author and activist
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To celebrate Black August, TRNN Executive Producer and former Black Panther Eddie Conway talks with Claude Marks about the life and legacy of revolutionary author and activist George Jackson 50 years after his assassination.

Help us continue producing radically independent news and in-depth analysis by following us and making a small donation:

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Aug 17, 2021
Big Agriculture’s bleak future for all of us
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A proposed concentrated animal feeding operation (CAFO) in Burnett County, Wisconsin, is slated to house 26,000 hogs and produce millions of gallons of liquid manure every year. Residents fear the irreparable damage an operation of that size could do to their air, land, and waterways, as well as to their property values and the local economy, and many fear there’s nothing they can do to stop it. As part of TRNN’s special collaboration with In These Times magazine for “The Wisconsin Idea,” TRNN Editor-in-Chief Maximillian Alvarez traveled with Cameron Granadino (TRNN) and Hannah Faris (In These Times) to Burnett County and neighboring Polk County to speak with farmers and residents in the area about their underreported struggle to protect their communities from the powerful and well-funded factory farming industry. In this interview, we speak with Polk County hay farmer Lisa Doerr about how her farm would be impacted by the proposed “hog factory,” which she fears will be the first of many in the area. We also discuss the David-and-Goliath battle Doerr and residents in her county have been waging to halt, research, and regulate the CAFO before it’s too late. #BigAgriculture #FactoryFarms #RuralAmerica #Farmer

Pre-production:
Maximillian Alvarez
Simon Davis-Cohen
Hannah Faris
Cameron Granadino

Studio:
Cameron Granadino
Stephen Frank

Post-production:
Cameron Granadino
Stephen Frank
Kayla Rivara

The Wisconsin Idea is an independent reporting project of People’s Action Institute, Citizen Action of Wisconsin and In These Times.

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Aug 17, 2021
Cops illegally took his camera ... but they weren't ready for what happened next!
1451
Holding police accountable requires defending the First Amendment right to put them on camera. This is why Philip Turner, known on YouTube as The Battousai, fought to solidify that right in Turner v. Driver, a 2017 case decided by the US Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit. However, a shocking video shows Texas police ignoring the law, detaining Turner, and confiscating his video equipment. What the officers didn't realize is that the case law resulting from the Turner v. Driver decision not only protects citizens' right to film the police, but was named after the very man whose rights they were violating!

Help us continue producing radically independent news and in-depth analysis by following us and making a small donation:

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#firstamendment #policeaccountabilityreport #auditor
Aug 17, 2021
Five months into strike, Alabama coal miners aren’t backing down
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Around 1,100 union coal miners in Brookwood, Alabama, have been on strike over unfair labor practices at Warrior Met Coal for over five months. Workers and their families are holding the line, demanding to get back what was stolen from them with their last contract, demanding to actually have time to spend with their families, demanding to be treated with the respect they deserve for making the mine more productive than ever. The UMWA's strike motto is "One day longer, one day stronger," and workers are showing no signs that they plan to back down.

In Part I of this special two-part update on the miners' strike, guest hosts Jacob Morrison and Adam Keller from The Valley Labor Report, Alabama’s only weekly labor radio talk show, interview striking workers and supporters who attended a solidarity rally that the union held in Brookwood on Aug. 4.
Aug 16, 2021
Rick Perlstein: ‘I was drafted into the project of settler colonialism as a child’
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In the second segment of this week’s Marc Steiner Show, we bring you the latest installment of our ongoing series “Not in Our Name,” which highlights the diverse voices of Jewish activists, artists, intellectuals, and others who are speaking out against the Israeli occupation. In this installment, Marc talks with Rick Perlstein about growing up Jewish in Milwaukee, the process of unlearning Zionist indoctrination, and how the United States' support of an Israeli ethno-state foments continued violence. Perlstein is a world-renowned author, journalist, and historian of the American right; his most recent book, the fourth in an award-winning series investigating the history of modern American conservatism, is Reaganland: America’s Right Turn 1976–1980.


Tune in for new segments of The Marc Steiner Show every Tuesday and Friday on TRNN.


Aug 13, 2021
‘The history of postwar fascism needs to be retold’
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Popular understandings of what fascism is, where it came from, and how it was “defeated” have hindered our collective ability to identify and fight fascist threats beyond those that existed in Western Europe a century ago. In the latest installment of her ongoing series investigating the contours of fascism in the past and present, Jacqueline Luqman speaks with philosopher, cultural critic, and political theorist Gabriel Rockhill about the need to understand how the political and economic systems that produced European fascism did not disappear after World War II. Rockhill is Professor of Philosophy at Villanova University, founder and director of the Critical Theory Workshop/Atelier de Théorie Critique, former Directeur de programme at the Collège International de Philosophie, and the author/editor of numerous scholarly books in English and French.
Aug 11, 2021
Breaking the dehumanizing spiral of anti-Arabism and anti-Semitism
1745
“While there are differences, to be sure, between anti-Semitism and anti-Arab bigotry, the animus that has driven the hostility directed against both Arabs and Jews springs from the same source,” James Zogby argues in a recent piece for YubaNet. In this week’s episode of The Marc Steiner Show, Marc welcomes Zogby back to the show to discuss the intertwined historical roots of anti-Arabism and anti-Semitism, as well as the hope that peace movements among new generations of Israelies and Palestinians can break the historical cycle of violence. James Zogby is the founder and president of the Arab American Institute, managing director of Zogby Research Services, former member of the Democratic National Committee’s Executive Committee, and author of Arab Voices: What They Are Saying to Us, and Why It Matters.


Tune in for new segments of The Marc Steiner Show every Tuesday and Friday on TRNN.



Pre-Production/Studio/Post Production: Stephen Frank
Aug 10, 2021
Big Pharma leaves 1,400 workers in the dust with West Virginia plant closure
1954
The Mylan pharmaceutical plant in Morgantown, West Virginia, has been in operation since 1965, producing low-cost generic drugs and providing good-paying jobs for generations of workers. On July 31, the plant (now owned by Viatris, Inc.) closed, upending the lives of over 1,400 workers, the economy of Morgantown, and the future of generic drug manufacturing in the US. In this Working People mini-cast, we talk to Carla Shultz, who has worked at the plant for 13 years, and legendary journalist Laura Flanders, who recently reported on the plant closure on The Laura Flanders Show, about the last-ditch efforts to keep the plant open and what it will mean for working people in Morgantown and beyond if those efforts are unsuccessful.

Featured Music (all songs sourced from the Free Music Archive: freemusicarchive.org)
Jules Taylor, "Working People Theme Song"
Aug 09, 2021
The moratorium extension won't end evictions
1378
Progressives celebrated as Biden extended the eviction moratorium. But three housing advocates in a city with one of the nation's highest eviction rates warn that renters were never really protected during the pandemic.

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Aug 05, 2021
Richard Wolff: Capitalism is holding "all of us hostage."
3749
The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the nature of work and the lives of working people in drastic ways. Millions of workers lost their jobs over the past year and a half, millions more saw their in-person jobs reoriented to remote work, possibly for good. While there is a lot of discussion right now about what the future of work will look like after COVID-19, it's important to understand how the pandemic accelerated existing trends in the economy that have been remapping the terrain of work and the makeup of the working class over the past half century. In this special video edition of Working People, TRNN Editor-in-Chief Maximillian Alvarez talks with world-renowned economist Richard D. Wolff about what these trends tell us about the global evolution of capitalism and how we can forge a diverse working-class political coalition in the 21st century that is capable of building a political and economic system that works for all of us. Richard D. Wolff is Professor of Economics Emeritus at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, and a visiting professor in the Julien J. Studley Graduate Programs in International Affairs at the New School in New York City; he is also the founder of Democracy at Work and host of their nationally syndicated show Economic Update. His latest book is The Sickness is the System: When Capitalism Fails to Save Us from Pandemics or Itself. #RichardWolff #Capitalism #COVID19 #WorkingClass

Studio: Adam Coley

Post-Production: Adam Coley

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Aug 04, 2021
Big business exploits prison labor instead of paying fairer wages
1499
After surviving a deadly pandemic, workers in the US are reluctant to return to unsafe workplaces for poverty wages. Rather than offer better pay, protections, and benefits, businesses are choosing to exploit prison labor.

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Aug 04, 2021
Factory farming is pushing independent farmers to the edge of extinction
2448
A proposed concentrated animal feeding operation (CAFO) in Burnett County, Wisconsin, is slated to house 26,000 hogs and produce millions of gallons of liquid manure every year. Residents fear the irreparable damage a facility of that size could do to their air, land, and waterways, as well as to their property values and the local economy, and many fear there’s nothing they can do to stop it. As part of TRNN’s special collaboration with In These Times magazine for “The Wisconsin Idea,” TRNN Editor-in-Chief Maximillian Alvarez traveled with Cameron Granadino (TRNN) and Hannah Faris (In These Times) to Burnett and Polk counties to speak with farmers and residents in the area about their underreported struggle to protect their communities from the factory farming industry. In this interview, we speak with local farmer and beekeeper Kristy Lynn Allen about the damage the industrialization of farming has done to agriculture in general, and about the damage the new CAFO would do specifically to farmers like her. Allen is the founder of The Beez Kneez, LLC, and serves as president of the local chapter of the Wisconsin Farmers Union. #BigAgriculture #Farming #IndependentFarmers #FactoryFarming #Rural

Pre-production:
Maximillian Alvarez
Simon Davis-Cohen
Hannah Faris
Cameron Granadino

Studio:
Cameron Granadino
Stephen Frank

Post-production:
Cameron Granadino
Stephen Frank
Kayla Rivara

The Wisconsin Idea is an independent reporting project of People’s Action Institute, Citizen Action of Wisconsin and In These Times.

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Aug 04, 2021
Biden’s cynical plan for 'security and prosperity' in Central America
1640
President Biden’s plan to secure “security and prosperity” in Central America appears to be a continuation of the longstanding policy of US intervention in Latin America and economic exploitation of its people and resources. Experts not only doubt that the Biden administration’s plan will do much to mitigate the political, economic, and climate-related issues driving migrants to leave their home countries for the United States, but fear that it will exacerbate said issues while leaving migrants in ever more precarious positions. In this week’s episode of The Marc Steiner Show, Marc talks to professor Aviva Chomsky about the larger goals of Biden’s Central America policy and the humanitarian havoc it could create. Chomsky is professor of history and coordinator of the Latin American Studies program at Salem State University in Massachusetts; she is the author of many acclaimed books, including Central America’s Forgotten History: Revolution, Violence, and the Roots of Migration.

Tune in for new episodes of The Marc Steiner Show every Tuesday on TRNN.
Aug 03, 2021
We have proof that life is better without bosses
2583
From workers dying from lack of adequate safety measures and PPE to states viciously cutting off extended unemployment benefits to force people back to unsafe, poverty-wage work, the COVID-19 pandemic has made it horrifyingly clear just how little value the lives and wellbeing of working people have in an economic system where all that matters is the bottom line. But it doesn't have to be this way. We can organize our economy and our workplaces in a more humane way—and we have proof that it works.

In this extended mini-cast, we talk with TRNN Senior Reporter Jaisal Noor about his multi-part investigative documentary series examining how eight worker cooperatives across four states have been able to stay in business during the pandemic while prioritizing worker safety and democratic decision making.

Featured Music (all songs sourced from the Free Music Archive)
Jules Taylor, "Working People Theme Song"
Aug 02, 2021
Cops made his life a living hell. Judges are making it worse
1514